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Gwinnett School Leaders Fighting Federal Budget Cuts

At a national conference this week, district leaders are hoping to protect education programs from across-the-board federal budget cuts.

Two Gwinnett County Board of Education members are among those in Washington D.C. this week to help protect school programs from "across-the board" federal budget cuts.

Carole Boyce, school board chairwoman and District I representative, who also  sits on the state's school board; and Dr. Mary Kay Murphy, District III representative (which includes Peachtree Corners schools), are present at the National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) 40th annual Federal Relations Network Conference. The three-day conference ends Jan. 29.

Along with Boyce and Murphy, some 700 school board and state school boards association leaders are meeting with members of Congress on Tuesday. They are hoping to protect education programs from across-the-board budget cuts, known as sequestration, according to a press release from NSBA.

According to the NSBA, the looming federal cuts would total more than $3 billion this fiscal year and would continue over a 10-year period.

"The federal cuts to public education would impede on the ability of school districts and states to sustain resources for programs that close achievement gaps, raise graduation rates, and retain highly effective teachers," said Thomas J. Gentzel, NSBA’s Executive Director.

"K-12 education programs have already been previously reduced on the federal level and the ability to absorb additional budget cuts and provide an enhanced curriculum for all students is extremely limited for many school districts," Gentzel added.

In this school year, 26 states are providing less funding per student to local school districts than they provided a year ago. Georgia is not one of those states, having spent .9 percent more money than a year ago, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

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