By Sharon Stevens, Education Reporter
BELLEVILLE, Ill. (KSDK) - Already reeling from late payments from the state, Illinois schools are now bracing for funding cutoffs from the federal government.
According to the White House, Illinois schools would lose more than $33 million if sequestration becomes a reality.
Educators in the Signal Hill School District in Belleville are frustrated about the possible elimination of what's known as Title 1 federal funding.
Signal Hill is one of the smaller districts in the bi-state region, and like most others, federal funding is crucial to its operation.
Title 1 funding pays for supplies, programs and other items in districts where there is an underserved population. In a state that is millions of dollars in debt, educators say they are frustrated that uncertainty over financing is could eliminate teaching jobs and needed programs.
Cahokia is a 100 percent Title 1 funded district, meaning that federal funds amount to $4 million or 10-percent of Cahokia's annual budget. Those funds pay for special teachers and supplies, as well as laptops, intervention and afterschool programs.
Without those funds, Title 1 director Debra Tippett said Cahokia will take a huge hit.
The White House also said Head Start, the preschool program in Illinois and across the nation, would also be eliminated for nearly 3,000 children.