Local Schools to Face Sequester Cuts

March 4, 2013 Updated Mar 4, 2013 at 7:37 PM EDT

By WKBW Admin

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March 4, 2013 Updated Mar 4, 2013 at 7:37 PM EDT

BUFFALO (WKBW The across-the-board federal budget cuts that took effect over the weekend will not only hurt non-profits, but could have a big impact on local classrooms. The New York State School Board Association estimates a 5.1 percent cut in school district budgets as a result of the sequester.

Of the Western New York districts facing budget cuts, the biggest reduction would come in Buffalo. $2.5 million dollars less from the federal government is what the district says it expects for next year.

A district source says it is still too early to tell exactly what that will mean for layoffs or cut backs, but the president of the Buffalo Teachers Federation says the impact will not be good due to an already strained budget.

"Any cut, whether it's in Buffalo, Williamsville, Amherst is serious because the funding has been cut severely in the last couple of years," Phil Rumore said.

Right behind Buffalo is Niagara Falls, estimated to lose over $315,000.

"We don't like losing any monies that we have coming to help our children and their programming. Every penny is important to us," Niagara Falls Superintendent Cynthia Bianco said.

Bianco says the majority of the reductions will have to come out of programs for underperforming children, or programs for students with special needs, and will likely mean teacher layoffs.

"We've analyzed the costs, we're waiting to see if it happens, we need to see what the percent of the decrease will be and then we will start making plans to what we would eliminate," she added.

Other top losers, according to the NYSSBA are: Jamestown at over $219,000 Ken-Ton over $184,000 Williamsville $170,000

Those numbers are not sitting well with parents.

"It's going to make a huge difference. Especially with all that they're trying to do for the kids now. And now they're going to cut it? The kids are going to need more help now than ever," Sarah Kreps said.

Most schools have already passed and approved their budgets for this year, so these estimated cuts would be coming out of next year's school budgets.