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Uncertainty Looms for Walpole Officials as Sequester Deadline Approaches

Much like the rest of the state, Walpole officials are waiting and watching to see how the sequester issue unfolds.

With uncertainty as to whether $85 billion in federal sequestration spending cuts will be stopped by Congress before Friday, officials in Walpole are keeping a close eye on the issue.

Without action from Congress, the sequester would go into effect automatically on March 1, reducing spending by the state in a number of areas, including education, the environment, health, military and law enforcement, the White House said.

The White House recently released a statement outlining the impacts the sequester would have state-by-state, including Massachusetts.

According to reports, one area that could be impacted the most on a local level are the schools.

Massachusetts would lose $13.9 million in education funding and another $13.9 million in cuts to education for students with disabilities.

"The impact, if any to [Walpole Public Schools], will be to our Federal grants," Supertintendent Lincoln Lynch said in an email. "We are being advised by [Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education] to level fund anticipated revenues for Federal grants. Circuit Breaker and Medicaid reimbursements are not impacted. Title II grants and associated services may have to be scaled back in September. We will have time to react by potentially reducing hours of tutoring and extra help for struggling students."

Lynch said they will have to wait on details from the US Department of Education to know more about the local impact on students.

Walpole Town Administrator Michael Boynton said it was too early to tell how the sequester could impact the town.

"We met with the Governor in Norwood [Tuesday] morning and this topic was discussed. At this time it is too premature to guess on impacts to the State and Town. The Governor informed us that we may not have a clear picture until sometime next month," Boynton said.

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