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Orion's fiscal cliff



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December 26, 2012 - Assistant superintendent of business and finances John Fitzgerald announced further bad news at the Dec. 12 school board meeting.

Due to the impending federal sequestration process that will impose severe spending cuts and revenue increases (a.k.a. the fiscal cliff), Lake Orion Community schools finds itself at risk.

Currently, the school has about $6 million in grants; of that, federal grants total about $2.5 million. 95 percent of the federal grants comes from Individual Disability Education Act (IDEA) and Title grant funds. If sequestration measures are not averted, those federal grants will experience an 8.2 percent cut.

Locally, this means Orion will lose about $200,000 in funding for programs already underway, which, in turn, means extra revenue will be required this year.

In response to board member Deborah Porter's question, Fitzgerald confirmed "there is potential we'll have to find $200,000 to cover it whether it's out of the fund balance or find additional grant funding from non-federal sources."

Fitzgerald is hopeful Congress arrives at a compromise to avoid the sequestration measures so that the district will suffer a smaller cut in federal funding.

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