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Beebe: Fiscal cliff plan shouldn't burden states

Gov. Mike Beebe says he told the White House that states shouldn't carry a disproportionate amount of the burden as President Barack Obama and Congress work out spending cuts and tax hikes.

LITTLE ROCK, AR -- After reading a story, a third grade class at Daisy Bates Elementary answers questions about what they just read.

Some of the credit for the right answers goes to literacy coaches, who help students with the skill.  Literacy coaches are paid for through the federal Title I program.

"We use Title 1 funds in nineteen of our elementary schools, and they are the nineteen schools that have the highest percentage of poverty," said Linda Remele, who oversees federal funding for the Pulaski County Special School District.

But the $6.2 million that PCSSD gets from Washington could be cut if the President and Congressional leaders don't prevent the fiscal cliff.

"Everybody wants everybody else to take the pain and you can't solve a problem doing that," said Governor Beebe.

Beebe, one of six governors to meet at the White House, said he encouraged leaders to drop the bickering, and adopt bipartisanship.

Failing to do so will hurt everybody.

"You can't do it all with cuts and you can't do it all with increased taxes. I think the Republicans acknowledge that," Beebe said.

According to the Department of Finance and Administration, the federal government funds twenty-nine percent of our budget.

If those dollars are cut, the state may not be able to pick up the tab.  PCSSD leaders said Title I couldn't continue. District leaders hope this stalling soon leads to a solution.

"A lot of times the federal government will solve things at the last minute. They're good at midnight solves," Remele said.

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