ROTTERDAM, N.Y. – New York's school districts will lose a combined $42.7 million in federal funding if Congress cannot reach a deal to avoid the automatic cuts known as the sequester from occurring on Friday, the White House warned this week.
In the Mohonasen Central School District, the reductions would come on top of repeated state funding cuts that have forced the elimination of more than 70 positions over the past three years.
"There isn't anything left to cut," Mohonasen Business Administrator Chris Ruberti said. "Our graduation rate continues to increase. We keep doing great things here and have great programs, but you can only do it for so long. They keep taking away more and more and more, and we don't know what to do at this point."
Olivia Sabatini, a Mohonasen High School senior whose father serves on the school board, told NEWS10 she has seen the changes in the classroom.
"There are more part-time teachers," Sabatini said. "Teachers that used to be full-time are now part-time. Great teachers that – just because they haven't been working here that long – get cut."
The sequester would put about 1,000 teacher, aide, and support jobs at risk statewide, according to the White House. Close to half of those people are employed exclusively to educate children with disabilities.
The Capital Region's U.S. Representatives have said both parties should come together to prevent devastating cuts.
Sabatini, who is preparing to graduate in June, said she is concerned about the next generation of students.
"It's almost like a cliff is crumbling, and I'm just hopping off of the cliff before it falls off," she said. "I feel like so many things are falling apart, and I feel like I'm just getting out of here in time where it's not going to affect me."