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As spending cuts loom, Arizona teachers wait it out

PHOENIX — Hundreds of Arizona teachers are anxiously waiting to see if Congress and the president can hammer out a deal by midnight to stop $30 million of federal spending cuts to the state’s education system.

The White House said more than 350 Arizona teachers and aides could lose their jobs if the sequester can’t be stopped.

But no teacher should wake up Friday worried about his or her job being cut immediately. If the cuts happen, Chris Kotterman with the Arizona Department of Education, said it shouldn’t impact the current school year.

“It’s possible the U.S. Department of Education could come up with guidance to start reducing now. Based on what we know on the grant cycle we may not see reduced dispersements until July. But the majority of the cuts won’t be effective until the next school year,” Kotterman said.

If the cuts do come into play, Kotterman said Arizona’s most vulnerable students will bear the brunt of the cuts.