Fed shutdown effects minimal for Clayton schools

District advised to be conservative with fed spending

JONESBORO — Officials with Clayton County Public Schools are awaiting word on various federally funded programs that could be impacted by the partial government shutdown.

Some 800,000 federal workers were forced off their jobs Tuesday as a result of the shutdown Congress imposed during a protracted dispute over President Barack Obama’s signature health care law. However, the impact will take a while to reach local programs and services.

Chief Financial Officer Ken Thompson said the district is taking steps to mitigate the effects of the shutdown, should the closure be prolonged.

“All of the district federal programs will continue as is in the short term,” he said. “We have been advised by the Georgia Department of Education to be conservative in our spending in the event the shutdown continues for a protracted period.”

Thompson said those federal programs include the district’s school nutrition program, which includes the Community Eligibility Option for free meal reimbursement plan made possible through the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010. The plan targets low-income students and allows students district-wide to receive breakfast and lunch free.

“We have been directed to continue to serve free meals,” Thompson said.