Local groups preparing for Sequ­estration cuts

San Antonio schools, agencies set to lose millions


SAN ANTONIO - Some local school districts and agencies have already begun planning for sequestration this year, taking a proactive approach to impending cuts.

Workforce Solutions Alamo's Executive Director Patrick Newman said his 16 offices across 12 counties expect to lose $2.7 million to fund programs for youth and adult workers as well as childcare services.

"Back in December, we actually identified resources that we had in each one of the pots of money that were going to be affected and set that aside," said Newman.

In addition to curbing lost services, Newman said childcare numbers will drop by attrition and people on the waiting list may have to look at other options.

They've begun meeting with their contractors to look at ways to reduce costs, possibly going to more automated services or sharing office space at their locations.

"My concern is what the budget is going to look like in 2013-14," said Newman. "If there is another reduction in that amount of funding then it will impact us significantly."

Leon Evan, CEO of the Center for Health Care Services, said Texas already ranks last in the country in per capita spending for mental health. He didn't have a specific dollar amount their services would lose but said anything hurts.

"We serve about 2,000 more than what the state pays us for right now and in children services several hundred more than they pay us for right now," said Evans. "So we're stretched about as far as we can be stretched."

Metro Health expects to lose about $1 million in funding in several programs including the WIC program, immunizations for uninsured adults and the Healthy Start program, which provides services for the area's most vulnerable women to help them have healthy pregnancies and births.

School districts will also face cuts to special education, Title I programs and lunch programs.

Northside ISD expects cuts between $1.8 to $3 million while San Antonio ISD may see cuts as high as $4 million.

While SAISD is a smaller district, 93 percent of their students are classified as economically disadvantaged.


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