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Extended Government Shutdown Could Slow University Research Funding

Much of the federal money that helps run California’s school gets paid out at the beginning of the school year, so they are not immediately affected by this week's federal shut down.

Aired 10/3/13 on KPBS News.

Government shutdown will leave most public schools largely untouched, as long as it doesn't last too long.

There are a few public school programs that receive federal funds throughout the year. Schools, for instance, are reimbursed for free meals they serve to low-income students each month. So most San Diego County public schools will remain unscathed unless congressional gridlock lasts into November.

It could be another story for the region’s research universities.

“Over half of our funds are through federal sources," said Stephen Welter, vice president of research at San Diego State University. "If this was a long-term process, then that would have a dramatic affect on our research. We’ll certainly try to keep our programs moving forward as best we can with our own resources, but obviously there’s a restriction on how much we can do and for how long.”

Most researchers who already have funding can continue their work, but no new federal grant applications are being accepted until the government is back in business.

Head Start programs renew their grants at different times of the year. No California locations are scheduled to receive funds in October, education news outlet EdSource reports.

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