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Shutdown: No immediate impact on school district

POULSBO — Washington's public schools are not expected to feel much impact from a government shutdown lasting less than a month.

Programs that qualify for federal funding reimbursement may be affected, but it's still wait-and-see.

"We're still receiving info from the feds on the shutdown," said Kristen Jaudon, a communications specialist with the state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI).

A government shutdown has never lasted more than a month. The longest shutdown was 21 days during the Clinton administration.

"We're not expecting anything this week," Jaudon said. "My understanding is that if the shutdown is less than a month [in duration], public schools will not be affected."

A limited number of federal employees will continue to work to ensure states receive reimbursements, according to an email from JoLynn Berge, OSPI's chief financial officer. School food programs, which operate on reimbursements, will continue to operate with a possibility that payments to states may be delayed, the email reads. At the time Berge sent the email, there was no concern September reimbursements would be delayed.

Monica Hunsaker, the North Kitsap School District's director of finance, business and operations, was not aware of the district being affected by a short shutdown, either.

"She doesn't see any concerns, unless we see this shutdown go longer than 30 days," district spokeswoman Jennifer Markaryan said.

The district is in the early stages of its annual Federal Impact Aid Survey, but grants submitted for fiscal year 2013 are not expected to be affected by a short shutdown.

The Impact Aid Program provides financial payments to school districts that are financially affected by federal activities within their district boundaries. Impacts include federally owned land, which is not on local tax rolls, thus decreasing the amount of local tax revenue the district receives; students from families connected to the federal government and uniformed services; and federally-connected students eligible for services under the Individuals with Disabilities Act.

 

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