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Clover Park schools on JBLM safe from defense furloughs but bracing for cuts to come

Post by Adam Ashton / The News Tribune on June 10, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
June 10, 2013 6:18 pm

Joint Base Lewis-McChord is getting one break that most other military installations are not receiving this year in the Pentagon’s plan to furlough its civilian workforce for 11 days this summer

Lewis-McChord’s schools are staying open full time despite the furloughs because they’re managed by Lakewood’s CloverParkSchool District.

Elsewhere, the Defense Department plans to shut schools on military bases for five days this fall so employees can take their unpaid days off.

We’re publishing more about Lewis-McChord’s furlough plan in Tuesday’s newspaper. The base has more than 10,000 civilian employees who generally will be compelled to take Fridays off between July 8 and the end of September.

Clover Park came out fairly well this year despite the forced budget cuts known as sequestration because it drafted a conservative spending plan that did not bank on extra money from Defense Department educational impact funds, said Kelly Magyar, the district’s director of financial services.

It lost about $35,000 in anticipated Head Start funds, but otherwise received the money it projected.

Next year could be more challenging, she said.

The forced cuts in the Budget Control Act of 2011 call for $500 million in defense spending reductions over the next 10 years. Clover Park would feel that restriction in reduced assistance for programs meant to benefit military children. That sum likely would run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars for the local schools.

“At some point we’re going to run out of wiggle room,” she said.

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