Mayor Brown optimistic about sequester

School officials nervous about education; Mayor Brown cautiously optimistic

Mayor Alvin Brown
Mayor Alvin Brown

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Three days and counting until government-wide budget cuts begin to hit home.

There's a lot on the chopping block, including education, and local leaders are beginning to weigh in on the impact.

Mayor Alving Brown remains cautiously optimistic -- confident Duval County can survive the sequester. But school district officials sit on the edge of their seats, knowing Florida schools could lose more than $80 million just this year.

A new report from the White House reveals the impacts of the so-called sequester on each state if a deal isn't reached by Friday.

Florida stands to lose more than $54 million in funding for primary and secondary education and more than $30 million in funds to education for children with disabilities.

"I'm very optimistic that when its all said and done, we will have all the resources we need to compete and provide the service for our students, our teachers and our administrators," Mayor Brown said.

Mayor Brown said he believes in Jacksonville's education system and isn't too concerned about the cuts just yet.

Superintendent of Duval County Public Schools, Nikolai Vitti, said the cuts would impact the students who can least afford it.

"In November, our School Board, like school districts across the country, approved a resolution in response to federal budget sequestration," Dr. Vitti said. "While we are unable to predict how the anticipated sequestration would impact our district, we are convinced that it would cause reductions to a wide variety of support to our most at-risk students, communities, and schools."

According to the White House, 6,250 fewer low income students in Florida would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college.

While the district is never happy to make cuts, it's already preparing something Mayor Brown believes will sustain education in Jacksonville.

"When it comes to education, we're committed in Jacksonville to education," Mayor Brown said. "I believe with all of us, with all of us working together, we're going to make sure that we provide the best education system to our local students."

It's a wait and see kind of attitude for most people because everyone would be affected.

From education to aviation security, many could soon be affected if these automatic cuts go into effect at the end of the week.