Educators fear effects of sequester

A Colorado Mesa University professor and a former School District 51 teacher gathered Thursday afternoon to protest possible negative impacts of federal sequestration on education.

Colorado members of national nonprofit Know Your Care, a group dedicated to informing citizens about the Affordable Care Act, organized the event as part of a statewide campaign to highlight various impacts and concerns pertaining to sequestration.

Rain forced the outdoor news conference to move to Colorado Mesa Spanish professor Thomas Acker’s office at the university. Acker said the impacts of sequestration on higher education are unclear at this point. But across-the-board cuts intended to get closer to a balanced federal budget may hurt work study and other programs for low-income students, he said.

“There’s an obsession with balancing the budget. This is not the time. We can’t talk about cutting things constantly,” Acker said.

Carolyn Sandeen-Hall, who taught at Fruitvale and Wingate elementary schools, said she is worried about low-income students at all age levels.

“Funding for special education and early education comes mostly from federal funding,” she said. “My concern about sequestration is the impact on the most vulnerable students.”

Sandeen-Hall said she hopes across-the-board cuts will cease and be replaced with a different budget-balancing solution. If not, she’s worried about long-term impacts.


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