PERRY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – As the threat of big government budget cuts continues to loom over the nation, school systems are bracing for the impact sequestration may have on local education.
Houston County Schools Superintendent Dr. Robin Hines said he's already made some budget adjustments in preparation for sequestration. According to Hines, Houston County schools will lose millions of dollars in federal programs, like Title I and Impact Aid.
"Students with disabilities, migrant education, teacher training, these types of things will be affected," Hines said.
The budget blows will force the school system to readjust its budget, trickling down to personnel and pay checks. Hines said the school system is freezing positions and increasing efficiency to avoid cutting jobs. He plans to utilize technology and in-house training, but admits things will have to change.
"I don't think it's unreasonable to think that class sizes will eventually increase," Hines said.
But for officials, the indirect impact could be harsher. The furloughs, pay cuts and buy outs at Robins Air Force Base will hurt the local economy, sales taxes and ultimately, school funding. In addition, many of the districts' parents have jobs that will be impacted by the steep defense cuts.
"That base out there is the economic engine that drives Middle Georgia,' Hines said, "and we certainly are not immune to that."
Hines has been in touch with Houston County Board of Education members and local leaders. While, he doesn't think the cuts will affect the school system this year, he is still unsure about the future.