School board urges congress to rescind federal cuts

At the latest meeting of the Claremont Unified School District Board of Education, the board took a vote on whether to join districts across the nation—including nearby Glendora Unified School District—in urging Congress to rescind across-the-board federal cuts to education.

Unless Congress is able to reach a last-minute compromise to stop sequestration, which would involve $1.2 trillion in cuts to federal funding for programs ranging from public education to the military to Medicare, schools across the nation will face a 6 percent slash in federal funding.

In all, US schools stand to lose $3 billion in the coming year. Locally, CUSD would lose $135,000, according to CUSD Superintendent Jim Elsasser.

The board voted to approve the resolution, which is being pushed by the California School Boards Association, with one dissenting vote. Board Member Sam Mowbray said he fears avoiding cuts will simply defer the problem of balancing the federal budget. What’s more, he was reluctant to press for the protection of the education budget when other crucial programs face reductions.

“One could argue for or against the [need to protect the military or border patrol or education. This says we’re more important than anything else,” Mr. Mowbray said. “I’m sorry to say I will vote against this. 

Board Member Jeff Stark said he understood Mr. Mowbray’s point, but felt compelled to fight against further federal cuts to education.

“What I really care about is education. That’s my job,” Mr. Stark said. “If I was on the ROTC board, I’d probably think it was more important to protect the military.”

With 3 out of 4 board members in support of the resolution, CUSD will be sending a letter to Congress asking them to, should sequestration be enacted, spare education.

—Sarah Torribio


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