NC educators, AARP weigh in on fiscal cliff budget crisis

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- State educators on Wednesday will weigh in on the fiscal cliff budget crisis in Greensboro, highlighting what a failure to come to an agreement would mean for publicly educated students in North Carolina.

The N.C. Association of Educators, better known as NCAE, plans to lobby lawmakers to make a swift decision to avoid the cliff.

A 5 p.m. press conference is scheduled at Smith High School, one of the area schools that relies heavily on Title 1 federal money for programs like literacy and dropout prevention.

NCAE will present what "falling off the cliff" would mean for area students, noting potential job and funding loss for nearly two dozen programs from Title 1 to HeadStart and Special Education.

Title 1 programs top the list with an estimated $33.4 million budget cut, affecting nearly 45,000 students and resulting in the loss of 580 jobs.

A complete list of 2013 budget estimates can be viewed here.

The AARP is also weighing in on what a federal budget shortfall would mean for seniors in N.C. The group estimates state social security cuts would total $3.65 billion over the next decade with a nationwide total of $112 billion.

The group also believes a potential raise in the Medicare age eligibility -- from 65 to 67 -- would result in more than 172,000 North Carolinians losing health coverage and turning to private insurance. The estimated out-of-pocket expense would be $2,200 a year per patient, according to the group.

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