Educators worry cuts will impact crucial programs - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Educators worry cuts will impact crucial programs

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The White House on Sunday released new state-by-state reports on "the devastating impact the sequester will have on jobs and middle class families across the country if Congressional Republicans fail to compromise to avert the sequester by March 1st."

The White House compiled the reports from federal agencies and its own budget office. The numbers reflect the impact of the cuts this year. Unless Congress acts by Friday, $85 billion in cuts are set to take effect from March to September.

If sequestration were to take effect, the White House says, some of the examples of the impacts on Louisiana this year alone include:

  • Teachers and Schools: Louisiana will lose approximately $15.8 in funding for primary and
    secondary education, putting around 220 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 26,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 50 fewer schools would receive funding.
    • Education for Children with Disabilities: In addition, Louisiana will lose approximately $9.8
      million in funds for about 120 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities.

      Head Start: Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for approximately
      1,400 children in Louisiana, reducing access to critical early education.

    "It's funded through local state and federal money. Anytime you cut from that there has to be a direct impact," said Jackie Lansdale, with the Caddo Bossier Federation of Teachers.

    Lansdale calls the cuts unconscionable, and suggests residents of Caddo and Bossier call their legislator to complain.

    Military Readiness: In Louisiana, approximately 7,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $35.9 million in total.

    • Army: Base operation funding would be cut by about $58 million in Louisiana.
    • Air Force: Funding for Air Force operations in Louisiana would be cut by about $8 million.
    • Navy: A planned demolition project at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base New Orleans and a scheduled Blue Angels show at Barksdale Air Force Base could be canceled.
  • Law Enforcement and Public Safety Funds for Crime Prevention and Prosecution: Louisiana will lose about $264,000 in Justice Assistance Grants that support law enforcement, prosecution and courts, crime prevention and education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, and crime victim and witness initiatives.
  • In Texas:

  • Teachers and Schools: Texas will lose approximately $67.8 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 930 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 172,000 fewer students would be served and approximately280 fewer schools would receive funding.
    • Education for Children with Disabilities: In addition, Texas will lose approximately $51 million in funds for about 620 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities.
  • Public Health: Texas will lose approximately $2,402,000 in funds to help upgrade its ability to respond to public health threats including infectious diseases, natural disasters, and biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological events. In addition, Texas will lose about $6,750,000 in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse, resulting in around 2,800 fewer admissions to substance abuse programs. And Texas' health departments will lose about $1,146,000 resulting in around 28,600 fewer HIV tests.
  • Nutrition Assistance for Seniors: Texas would lose approximately $3,557,000 in funds that provide meals for seniors.
  • In Arkansas:

  • Teachers and Schools: Arkansas will lose approximately $5.9 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 80 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 10,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 30 fewer schools would receive funding.
    • Education for Children with Disabilities: In addition, Arkansas will lose approximately $5.6 million in funds for about 70 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities.
  • Protections for Clean Air and Clean Water: Arkansas would lose about $1.6 million in
    environmental funding to ensure clean water and air quality, as well as prevent pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste. In addition, Arkansas could lose another $842,000 in grants for fish and wildlife protection.
  • Military Readiness: In Arkansas, approximately 4,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $19.2 million in total.
    • Army: Base operation funding would be cut by about $1.6 million in Arkansas.
    • Air Force: Funding for Air Force operations in Arkansas would be cut by about $2 million.
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