Anoka-Hennepin has plans in place for federal cuts

When Democrats and Republicans couldn’t agree on a budget, that meant $85 billion in federal spending cuts went in effect March 1.

For School District 11, those cuts mean a trickle-down effect from the 5 to 5.3 percent of federal funds that come to the district from the Minnesota Department of Education.

Annually, District 11 receives about $13.8 million in federal funds for its general fund, or about 3.3 percent.

Michelle Vargas, Anoka-Hennepin’s chief financial officer, breaks it down.

She said the sequester will affect Title I and Special ED IDEA Part B in fiscal year 2014.

“These cuts won’t happen immediately, and these are small cuts only for these specific programs,” Vargas said.

Title 1 is a provision of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act passed in 1965, a program created by the United States Department of Education to distribute funding to schools and school districts with a high percentage of students from low-income families.

Special ED IDEA Part B governs how special education and related services are provided to school-aged children with disabilities.

In Title I, the entitlement is $4.36 million, so $231,282 is the cut, Vargas said.

For Special ED IDEA Part B, the entitlement is $7 million and $372,837 is the sequester reduction, she said.

According to Vargas, both program directors have been planning ahead for the threatened sequester – in fact, planning for close to 10 percent in cuts – and will adjust their budgets accordingly.

The Title 1 program will also have reserves to cover some if not all of the cuts, and special ed has carry-over that will more than cover the impact of the sequester on that budget, Vargas said. “We’ve been planning for this, and we always have about a 10 percent carry-over, so we should be fine,” she said.