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Fiscal Cliff Could Cause Funding Problems for Schools

By Erica Williams
By ewilliams@wbbjtv.com

BOLIVAR, Tenn. - School officials in Hardeman County are concerned that if Washington doesn't reach an agreement concerning the Fiscal Cliff, students will suffer.

"If the fiscal cliff is not adverted, we stand a real strong chance of having our funds cut," said Steve Gibson, Asst. Director of Physical Services for Hardeman County schools.

Gibson says they depend on federal funding for special education, teacher training and development, and student success programs. Without funding, programs may be cut.

"You would think that the folks we've elected to represent us would look at other ways to balance the budget other than cutting funds to our school system," said Gibson.

The Hardeman County School System recently received a "Gear Up" grant, that encourages students to go to college. Officials say they are worried that this grant, and others like it, will be cut and communities will be affected.

"If you don't have federal funding for the programs, you're putting all of the pressure back on the local communities to provide this," said Gibson.

Legislators have until January 2, 2013 to come to an agreement.