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Federal cuts pose 'challenges' to GCPS

In this file photo, Alvin Wilbanks, superintendent of Gwinnett County Public Schools, speaks to a group.

In this file photo, Alvin Wilbanks, superintendent of Gwinnett County Public Schools, speaks to a group.

SUWANEE -- Across-the-board budget cuts at the federal level could mean a $3.4 million loss to Gwinnett County Public Schools, according to Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks.

The planned sweeping reductions known as sequestration could take effect beginning March 1.

"The two largest cuts would be seen in our Title I grant -- approximately $1.7 million and our IDEA Section 611 special education grant

-- approximately $1.3 million," Wilbanks said.

Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), special education funds are distributed through grant programs. Wilbanks said funds from the grant in question are "primarily used to pay salaries for our special education paraprofessionals."

Added Wilbanks: "If these federal dollars are lost, the district would look to fund these positions out of our local budget. The use of local funds to offset or cover costs of programs affected by sequestration provides additional challenges to school district budgets that already are stretched thin."

In regards to the Title I money: "The district does not anticipate an immediate issue with services as a result of the loss of Title I funds as we will be able to reserve funds from this year to carry into next year."

Title I provides financial assistance to local educational agencies and schools with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families to help children meet state academic standards.

About $85 billion in impending cuts could affect a wide range of other government programs, with the defense industry in particular expecting sequestration to hurt contractors and businesses that depend on spending by them and their employees. Many economists have warned the cuts could devastate the fledgling economic recovery.

-- Reuters contributed to this report

Comments

TOWG 1 year, 6 months ago

The GCPS annual budget is over $1.5B and the loss of less than $4M is going to be a challenge? Cry me a river.

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NewsReader 1 year, 6 months ago

In other words, we "could" make adjustments and live within our means. We just choose to milk the proverbial federal gov'ment teet and it is most inconvenient when we can't do that.

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apsLilburn 1 year, 6 months ago

I don't believe a word that Wilbanks says. Reddy, can't you write your own article without obtaining help from Reuters?

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news2me 1 year, 6 months ago

The biggest "challenge" is the fact that GCPS continues to accept and educate students that don't belong in our schools. Be it the refugees that live in Dekalb and use fake adresses, Illegal Aliens that take more than they contribute, and the thugs that simply don't want to be in a classroom (ie the murderers of Paul Sampleton @ Grayson HS), etc, etc, etc ....

GCPS's biggest money problem is not the "threat" of federal $$ cuts, but the decreasing tax base via property values and people with real money simply leaving the county. We are the next Dekalb, socially and financially.

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SurelyNot 1 year, 6 months ago

Some of you write like you are glad thiese things happen. You must have had very unhappy childhoods...and don't act like you don't struggle with your budget. Maybe that is what puts you in such a bad mood.

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news2me 1 year, 6 months ago

Honesty = Bad Mood? Seeing our children's future and the survival of this country being threatened should put everyone in a bad mood. I guess you are the exception to that rule. It's been talked about that the Obama voter is the one with debt problems and budget struggles. You get what you pay and vote for ....

http://www.ajc.com/gallery/news/americas-most-miserable-cities/g79s/

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gwinnettresident1 1 year, 6 months ago

Well said....and he wants to change it so he can be voted in again...Can you say King Obama

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Mack711 1 year, 6 months ago

Sounds like Wilbanks and others at the GCPS system must learn to live within a budget like the rest of us. But we all know that will not happen, he can raise taxes and get more from those who do not have more to give. Maybe a pay cut is in order for the top brass at GCPS?

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pcjohn 1 year, 6 months ago

Maybe Wilbanks will stop funding the Chamber of Commerce and apply that money to the paraprofessionals. Just don't count on it. He likes playing Daddy Warbucks.

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gwinnettresident1 1 year, 6 months ago

Lot of things could be changed in GCPS to cut lots more than they will lose.

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gwinnettresident1 1 year, 6 months ago

We live within our budget...sometimes its tough but we strugle to get by... We have no other means of making more money. Gwinnett schools will just raise the tax digest to offset the 3.4 million loss. If you need a little more to finish paying the power bill...whose tax to you increase.....enough said........gwinnett has not given its employees a pay raise at all in over 5 years now....that should have been a big chunk of the change needed. Where did that saved money go..

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JHogan 1 year, 6 months ago

I don't understand most of the comments here. For one thing, if anyone can find $4 million of fat in the Gwinnett County School System's budget, then please make it public. I don't think any such thing exists in today's public budgets. (School Board, county or state) We've just begun to come out of one of the deepest economic contractions since the 1930's and there is no fat left to trim. Losing something when you can't afford to lose anything is a bad thing.

Most of you commenters realize that money spent from the Federal government does not have to come from taxes, don't you?

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TOWG 1 year, 6 months ago

If money from the federal government doesn't come from taxes just where does it come from?

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gwinnettresident1 1 year, 6 months ago

If money from The Feds dosent come from taxes...where the He** does it come from...The federal goverment has no job...They get no w-2 at the end of Jan every year. U must think it falls from fricking trees...Gees that is the most ignorant statement i have heard on here

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news2me 1 year, 6 months ago

It's money that we don't have! How do you not realize what this whole fiasco is about?

LMAO!!

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NorcrossDot 1 year, 6 months ago

So you don't pay federal taxes? Governments do not generate money that spend and spend it. I'm positive more that $4 mil can be found as waste in the GCPS system. Hire some business people and they will find it in a week or less.

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SurelyNot 1 year, 6 months ago

It freightens me that you think the money only comes from taxes. Talk about someone needing a business person. Perhaps you need one. Or why don't you read up on economics.

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news2me 1 year, 6 months ago

Great explanation! Thanks for your non-contribution!

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Sandykin 1 year, 6 months ago

I would appreciate a cliff notes version of how the government obtains money other than thru taxes and loans which have to be paid back thru taxes. Please enlighten me with a few examples. Doesn't have to be a whole text book. Thanks.

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LilburnsFuture 1 year, 6 months ago

The only other financial vehicle I can think of involves bonds. However, are the interest paid to bond holders provided by the tax revenues generated? Which again goes to the point that revenue is gerenated through taxes, does it not?

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news2me 1 year, 6 months ago

Your federal income tax dollars help to pay for the items on the federal budget. In a fiscal year, the government collects Trillions in tax revenue, but spend Trillion$ more that they don't have. That whopping gap between revenue and spending is known as the DEFICIT. The money the federal government borrows to cover the budget deficit is called national debt

The federal budget starts with a request by POTUS. His proposal determines how the government should spend its money and where those funds should come from. In a nutshell, it's $$$$$$$$$$ that we don't have. The house / senate have a resolution too, but his royal highness Obama likes his ideas and threats better.

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notblind 1 year, 6 months ago

Could be that Jhogan is the person I remember espousing the benefits of the feds printing money as fast as they can.

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notblind 1 year, 6 months ago

One problem is that the feds would rather distribute billions of dollars to foreign countries than to distribute this money amongst the people they extorted it from in the first place.

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Jan 1 year, 6 months ago

Amazing! I actually agree with notblind. Mark this day in the history books!

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BuzzG 1 year, 6 months ago

Wilbanks should be handed his walking papers for giving our tax dollars designated for education to the Chamber of Commerce. I'll be real happy when this guy is outa here.

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RiggaTony 1 year, 6 months ago

The public school system is just a liberal communist indoctrination centers where our children are fed lies like evolution and tolerance for other 'cultures.' We need to do away with them completely. There was a time in this country when education occurred in the home and ceased after the child had acquired the basics and was old enough to work. We need to seriously reconsider that model.

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Bri 1 year, 6 months ago

Wow rid the world of all other cultures. In case you haven't noticed, our country is compromised of people of varying cultures from around the world. We are a melting pot of cultures. Some like to imagine a country that is steeped in eurocentric history and culture. It would be interesting to see how quickly this plan would cause America to lose its importance on the global stage. Some may not realize this, our country is in a symbiotic relationship with all other counties, we have a global economy. Without assistance from other countries, our economy would have collapsed long ago.

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mam 1 year, 6 months ago

That would be comprised not compromised.

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news2me 1 year, 6 months ago

"We are a melting pot of cultures"

No we are not. The melting pot is a thing of the past. For the most part, cultures and races tend to self segregate now. Socioeconomics plays a large part in the way we live today here in the US. While it might be politically correct to state one embraces diversity, utimately you just want inclusion (acceptance).

I have had several Gwinnett RE agents tell me that many clients start out looking for a "diverse" area to live in, but that polical correctness is quickly thrown out the window. There is almost a silent code that develops rather quickly when decing on where to live. In a nutshell, it is not diversity folks are looking for when making perhaps the largest investment in their lives. Money (or lack of it) matters.

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dudley4141 1 year, 6 months ago

If your so worried Willbanks, take a pay cut. You get thousands to blow hot steam out your mouth. Gwinnett Schools would be better if you were not at the helm.

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SurelyNot 1 year, 6 months ago

@Rigga Tony: ridding us of other cultures...hmm...my ancestors came from Ireland, Scotland, Germany, The Netherlands...what about yours?

So as not to write a textbook on econ, while the primary source of federal $ is personal income tax, it is not the only source of revenue...business and investment brings is additional revenue.

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news2me 1 year, 6 months ago

The reference is ridding us of government schools not other cultures. Reading comprehension is obviously very important. Thanks for coming back late to the party with your econ notes .....

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SurelyNot 1 year, 6 months ago

@news2me: Reading comp is essential....and so is understanding the truth shrouded in other intention. And as for coming back late to the party...what I do in between posts is work.

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Sandykin 1 year, 6 months ago

Exactly which businesses does the government own that generate income for it (other than the private businesses that are paying TAXES to the government). As to investments, you don't mean things like savings bonds where the government uses our TAX money to payout interest do you?

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CitizenGwinnett 1 year, 6 months ago

The millage rate in Gwinnett has not been increased in seven years.
Gwinnett went from a over a 2 billion dollar budget with 153,000 students in 2007 to a 1.7 billion dollar budget with a 163,000 students in 2013. That is with inflation and a shrinking digest. Costs have risen, but like everyone else they have cut their budget and tried to become more resourceful. 10,000 more kiddos and significantly less $$$.

GCPS is responsible for raising over 50% of the money for Relay for Life and United Way not to mention the thousands of hours of community service that are rendered.
The number one reason districts succeed as cited by experts--longevity of the board and super. Take a quick look around a see that Gwinnett is an island of success in metro Atlanta and nation. No infighting, no removal of members, no petty arguments over schedules,etc. GCPS and Wilbanks aren't perfect, but I'd take 'em over any of the goobers in our nearby systems. You get what you pay for!

Suggest some cuts--so far the Chamber membership is the only suggestion.

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