"We're kind of in a quandary not knowing," she said.
West Virginia is waiting to hear if it will continue to receive funds for Head Start, a national development program that promotes academic and social skills for children up to 5 years old.
This is the first time the state has had to re-compete for the grant instead of receiving it by way of a continuous cycle, and while only three schools have Head Start programs in the county, more than 40 teachers and service personnel are affiliated with the program, according to Jane Roberts, assistant superintendent in charge of elementary schools.
"We have every hope that our grant will be funded. However, there is a possibility that it won't be. As a precaution, these folks should be [transferred]," she said. "We understand it will cause stress and anxiety on the employees and their families, but they need to know there's a possibility positions could be reduced."
Sandy Boggs, head of exceptional students in Kanawha County, told the board members, "It gets worse," as she stepped up to talk about potential cuts to special education.
The state's special-education system is looking at a loss of $600,000 for basic supplies next year, in addition to major cutbacks to Medicaid reimbursements for students who qualify, Boggs said.
West Virginia already pays nearly $18,000 for each student who is educated in an out-of-state facility because of the lack of special-education services in the state, Boggs said.
"We can't take any more cuts," she said. "Every year, my budget is cut."
Also, funding that's dedicated to technology upgrades and English as a second language programs could be at risk in the near future, depending on federal cutbacks.
Reach Mackenzie Mays at mackenzie.m...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4814.