If the potential $85 billion in federal "sequestration" spending cuts are made on Friday, the Hoboken public school district stands to lose $600,000 for the remainder of the school year, Superintendent Dr. Mark Toback said.
How to handle the loss of such funds is still being worked out, Toback said. The goal is to create "as little damage as possible to the academic program."
Toback, who was scheduled to meet with his team on Tuesday and Wednesday, said it'd be a blow to the district.
"School districts are only allowed a small surplus," Toback said. "We can’t completely absorb that kind of loss."
New Jersey could lose nearly $12 million in funding for primary and secondary education if Congress fails to halt the “sequestration” by Friday, according to figures released by the White House.
Without action from Congress, the sequester would go into effect automatically on March 1, reducing spending by the state in a number of areas, including education, the environment, health, military and law enforcement, the White House said.
The cuts, according to the Obama administration, could jeopardize 160 teacher and aide jobs in New Jersey, as well as cut funding to 60 schools and 15,000 students.
Funding would be cut to the early childhood education program Head Start, vaccination programs for children and health services for seniors, among other things, and thousands of civilian Department of Defense employees could be furloughed, according to the White House.
Toback said it's "too close to call" the outcome of the situation. But, he added, "we're getting down to the wire."
While he has been in similar situations before, Toback said there is no way to find the "magical answers" to the potential cuts.
"I'm worried," he said.
The total federal spending cuts under the sequester add up to about $1.2 trillion over the next nine years.
Republicans have accused the president of using the impending cuts for political gain.
President Barack Obama's plan asks for increased tax revenues to offset some of the trillion-dollar cuts.