Sequestration Could Cause Hoboken School District to Lose $600K

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mark Toback said he will be holding meetings with his team to discuss a plan in case the cuts happen.

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.

HobokenTownie February 27, 2013 at 02:41 PM
Since my kids do not go to the dumpy school system in town - slash and cut - there is way to much bloating in this district anyway.
Redwing forever February 27, 2013 at 03:09 PM
Well for such a small school system need to make cuts some asst Superindent and his asst that is over $200, and goout side for bus drivers and cleaning company. Time for kids first to take big steps, do not cut the plays
PeoplePlease February 27, 2013 at 07:47 PM
Eh....somehow I think everyone will be OK. If this deal was being handled the right way instead of with a series of road trips and press conferences, we would be long beyond this hurdle. The best part is that there is no budget...nor has there been a budget for the last 4 years. These dollars are liquid...dollars will be cut from non essential areas to fund the essential areas....it will be hardly felt.
franksinatra February 27, 2013 at 11:22 PM
Toback is being ridiculous here. Where is he getting that $600,000 number from? If the whole state, with more than 600 districts, is losing $12 million, then how could Hoboken alone be losing a full 1/20th of that? Even if only 60 districts are being hit, as the story indicates, or if only the 33 Abbott districts are being hit, then how could Hoboken possibly be losing such a big share of the statewide cut? The $12 million is probably inflated because Obama's been trying to scare everyone so he can get another big tax hike. Is Toback also fear-mongering here? Is he putting out an obviously overblown number and sounding so ominous in order to soften us up for school tax hike? School taxes have already risen 5.27% since Kids First took over in 2009. Toback and Kids First must be put on notice that Hoboken cannot afford more tax hikes. And Toback's claim that the district "can't completely absorb that kind of loss (the $600,000)," is patently false. As has been reported many times, the Hoboken public schools spends $24,000 on each and every student. That's the second-highest amount for any k-12 district in the state. The state average is closer to $12,000 or $13,000. Toback's budget is rife with waste and he and Kids First need to focus on spending money more wisely instead of employing these cynical scare tactics.
Redwing forever February 28, 2013 at 03:05 PM
Was this Money in budget. Is this leagle to have in budget if you do not have the money to send?


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