JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Department of Education, Tony Miller, was the keynote speaker during day two of the Jacksonville Education Summit held in downtown.
For many, the imminent, across-the-board budget cuts were an unfortunate reminder of a possible setback in starting new programs or expanding old ones in the education sector.
"At the time when you're seeing real leadership and momentum like you're seeing here in Jacksonville this is exactly the wrong time to be cutting investments in educating," said Miller.
Miller says if Congress doesn't act not only will it put teachers' jobs in jeopardy but it could also impact local students.
"Lots of children from Head Start will perhaps lose the opportunity to participate in early learning," said Miller.
According to Duval County Superintendent Dr. Nikolai Vitti, local programs focusing on at-risk youth will be the most impacted if these cuts take effect.
"We want them to be literate, we want them to be prepared for the workforce and this is what this funding focuses on," said Vitti.
According to Miller, it all could have been avoided but in the end he still has hope.
"We do hope that Congress will support a balanced approach and we can get back to the work at hand," said Miller.
A total of $85 billion in across-the-board budget cuts kick in at midnight on Friday.