LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - The fiscal cliff could bring one of the largest cutbacks in federal education dollars to Arkansas in some time.
A large portion of this money goes to the Title One program. These cuts were put in place to urge congress to create a budget that would help the financial future of the country, and now Arkansas' education system is bracing for the worst.
The Arkansas Department of Education estimates a 10 to 12 percent reduction of its federal money, which shakes out to roughly $100 million.
"It could be resources such as staffing could be cut. Resources that are supplemental resources that the school has for programs could be cut. So you're going to see at the school level you're going to see the most," said Bobby Lester, the Director of Federal Programs for the Arkansas Department of Education.
If the cuts take place, Lester said money will be taken from the 2013-2014 school year, but not this year. The Title I program received nearly half of the overall federal funding and could take the hardest fall if congress allows the financial system to go off the fiscal cliff.
"The state receives about 500 million. A percentage of that goes to the state level and then the rest goes to the districts themselves," said Lester.
Nearly all of the school districts in Arkansas receive some sort of Title One funding, and Lester said no matter what the financial situation, individual districts will make the final call on where they spend their money. Both the President Obama and House Speaker Boehner said they're willing to compromise.
"If we can get a few house republicans to agree as well I'll sign this bill as soon as congress sends it my way," said President Obama.
"We're willing to put revenue on the table as long as we're not raising rates," said Boehner.
Only time will tell if both parties can come together.
"We've talked to superintendents we've let them know that this is a possibility to happen. We hope that it doesn't but we wanted them to start planning even last year," said Lester.
These automatic cuts will go into effect January 2, 2013 if congress and the president's administration do not find a solution.