Budget cuts loom for programs dependent on federal grants

Posted on: 6:04 pm, March 5, 2013, by , updated on: 07:12pm, March 5, 2013

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Federal agencies are still sorting out what exactly the sequester will look like but  a lot of local organizations are already bracing for the budget ax. The University of Kansas says it could potentially lose a total of $12.6 million because of federal grants being reduced or cut altogether.

Juniper Gardens Children’s Project based in KCK studies kids — how they learn and develop everything from social to verbal skills. And they’re very concerned about what the sequester will mean for their research. Charles Greenwood heads up the program and says their research focuses on issues that the community cares about.

“Children’s social well being is an area agencies fund that work to help kids grow up to be good parents and have good emotional stability,” he said, “we work on behavior problems, illiteracy and language, improving instruction.”

Greenwood says his researchers have been published and claims their work makes a difference. The budget every year is about six to seven million mostly made up of federal grants from the Department of Education. Right now Greenwood says it’s looking like his budget will take a ten percent cut.

“That will have some consequences in terms of employees,” he said.

Plus he says grants for 2014 are on hold because of all the uncertainty in Congress.

“You can see it’s on a scale down that is really troubling to me,” said Greenwood.

It’s troubling to research assistant Jen Robertson, and it’s not just because jobs are at stake. She says she believes in what she’s doing here.

“The work we do is important,” she said, “and I hope we can continue to do that as much as we can.”

Greenwood left Tuesday for Washington, D.C. where he will meet with Department of Education leaders. He’s hoping to get more information about how exactly the Department of Education plans to deal with these cuts.

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