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“Fiscal Cliff” to affect federal funding for schools

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – If federal lawmakers go over the so-called “Fiscal Cliff,” ABC 4 is told school children will see major cuts in their education.
SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – If federal lawmakers go over the so-called “Fiscal Cliff,” ABC 4 is told school children will see major cuts in their education.

In just over three days the U.S. will go over the “Fiscal Cliff.” But what does that mean?

When Thelma and Louise did it, it won an Oscar. But going off this cliff, will hardly win any awards. National news correspondents are predicting if the U.S. government can't figure out how balance its budget, school children will take some of the fall.

"That's huge ... I'm a school teacher, that's the scariest part," said Camille Haroldsen, upset over “Fiscal Cliff.”

According to the White House Office of Management and Bugdet, as it stands now federal funding for public schools would be cut by 8.2%. If you ask Utah education officials, that means Utah schools would lose roughly $25 million in 2013-2014, and it has got some Utahns clearly upset.

"There is no greater resource, not in our banks, in our military, in our gold, it's in our future generations. And we are forsaking them and that will have untold precedence," said Jacosta, upset over “Fiscal Cliff.”

Lawmakers still have more than 36 hours to find a way to save money to the schools. But if everything stays the same, Monday at midnight, instead of Thelma and Louise going off the cliff it could be your kids’ education.

Maybe it won't be as dramatic as that, but there is a silver lining to this. If federal funding makes cuts to education, programs federally funded are "forward funded" that means this year is already paid for. That will give schools extra time to figure out how to make up the difference.

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Follow Brian Carlson on Twitter:@tv_briancarlson
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