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What does the Fiscal Cliff Mean to Gallatin County Schools

December 13, 2012
 
You have probably heard a great deal about the looming fiscal cliff facing our nation, but I want to bring the debate closer to home by sharing what that cliff means for Gallatin County Schools and the future of the children and youth of our community. These critically important decisions lie solely in the hands of our elected leaders in Congress and the White House, but make no mistake – they have the potential to dramatically impact your local schools.  
 
Sequestration, the fiscal policy procedure adopted by Congress to deal with the federal budget deficit, generates automatic cuts for each of nine years, fiscal years 2013-2021, totaling $1.2 trillion.  Without Congressional action to prevent sequestration, the first round of cuts will take place January 2, 2013. The 2013 cuts apply across-the-board to “discretionary” spending, and are divided between reductions to defense and non-defense spending, including education.
 
As a school system leader, I can assure you that education cuts do not heal, and that the impact of the sequester on education would be severe and far-reaching. The looming fiscal cliff and sequester threaten to undermine the success of our local schools in preparing students to be college/career-ready. Kentucky legislators have made a concerted effort to protect state funding for education. Despite those efforts, the Gallatin County Schools’ share of state funding has decreased $144,000 since 2009, even though we have more students than ever before.
Under sequestration, education funding will be subject to cuts ranging from 9.1% (in 2013) to 5.5% (in 2021) according to the Center on Budget & Policy Priorities. The reduction in FY 2013 would amount to $4.1 billion. These cuts will devastate the already fragile economic condition of our local schools and will set the new baseline for future federal allocations. This is simply unacceptable.
I believe that Gallatin Countians understand the critical role education plays in the long-term economic health of our community. Together, we strive constantly to do more with an ever-smaller set of resources; our hard work and success should not be jeopardized because Congress is incapable of assembling a responsible, balanced and bipartisan approach to avoid the fiscal cliff. To be more specific, sequestration for our schools will result in an additional loss of $77,000 over and above the loss in state funding we have already experienced.
Now is the time for action; now is the time for leadership.   Sequestration can only be avoided if Congress passes legislation that undoes the legal requirement in the Budget Control Act before January 2, 2013. There is no room for error or thoughtless, across-the-board, blunt cuts. Please join the Gallatin County Board of Education in urging Kentucky’s entire Congressional delegation to work with colleagues from both sides of the aisle to intervene and avoid the sequester and fiscal cliff. We must call on Congress to set aside differences and find common ground in a responsible approach that doesn’t disproportionately impact students by gutting our national investment in education and ultimately hampering the long-term fiscal health and competitiveness of our community and our entire country.
Sincerely,
Dot Perkins, Superintendent
 
 
The Honorable Mitch McConnell                                        
US House of Representatives
United States Senate
317 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
Phone (202) 224-2541
The Honorable Rand Paul
United States Senate
SRC-5 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
Phone (202) 224-4343
The Honorable Ed Whitfield
US House of Representatives
2368 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington DC 20515
Phone (202) 225-3115
 
The Honorable Brett Guthrie
US House of Representatives
308 Cannon House Office Building
Washington DC 20515
Phone (202) 225-3501
 
The Honorable John Yarmuth
US House of Representatives
435 Cannon House Office Building
Washington DC 20515
Phone (202) 225-5401
 
The Honorable Geoff Davis
US House of Representatives
1119 Longworth House Office Building
Washington DC 20515
Phone (202) 225-3465
 
The Honorable Hal Rogers
US House of Representatives
2406 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington DC 20515
Phone (202) 225-4601
 
The Honorable Andy Barr
US House of Representatives
1504 Longworth House Office Building
Washington DC 20515
Phone (202) 225-4706

Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten Part 3 of 3

Is Your Child Ready for Kindergarten?
It is not too early to think about
Next school year
 
Part 3 of 3 part series
 
Children who are 5 years old on or before October 1, 2012
 
Any child residing in the Gallatin County School District whose birthday is on or before October 1, 2012 is eligible for Kindergarten. There is not a waiting list, not one will be turned away.
 
Parent/guardians and grandparents, we hope that you find it important to take time to prepare your child for his/her Kindergarten year.
 
Watch for Kindergarten Registration information coming soon.
 
Registration will be held in our lower elementary from 9:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M.
 
Please bring the following to registration:
            *Current Kentucky Immunization Certificate
            *Current School Physical
            *Current Eye Examination
            *Certified Copy of Birth Certificate
            *Social Security Card
            *Proof of Residency (Prefer Utility Bill or Rental Lease)
 
Gallatin County offers FULL-day kindergarten for every student.