SOUTHBOROUGH, Mass. — As Washington continues to debate impending budget cuts, the Southborough K-8 School Committee drafted a letter calling on federal officials to spare schools.
On Dec. 31, the White House and Congressional leaders agreed to delay, by two months, a law that would cut $1.2 trillion from the federal budget over the next 10 years. Known as the sequester, this across-the-board cut would be split equally between defense and non-defense programs.
The School Committee's letter – addressed to Sen. John Kerry, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Rep. Ed Markey, state Sen. Jamie Eldridge and state Rep. Carolyn Dykema, all Democrats – calls on the representatives to oppose any cuts to education.
"For the past several years, we have struggled to pass school budgets that contain only modest increases, such as the 0.68 percent increase in last year's district budget," School Committee members wrote.
In particular, they expressed concern that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) faces cuts. Originally intended to fund 40 percent of special education costs, members wrote that IDEA has never reached that level and currently covers only 16 percent.
"Rather than entertaining cuts in such funding, Congress should be working to live up to its promises and give school districts the funds they need to properly educate all students," members wrote.
"We should not have to continually ask the taxpayers of Southborough to pick up the bills that the Federal government is obligated to pay," they added.