So while most of you spent last night watching The Oscars and into the lovely gowns and suits and ties of the attendees, I thought I’d do a little research on this whole sequestration that has a possibility of taking place this Friday.
Oh, you mean to tell me you don’t know what the sequester is? Come here, let me coach you.
Remember back in the last half of 2012 when the country was all up in arms about going over that fiscal cliff? Welp, on New Year’s Eve Congress meet its deadline right at the buzzer to avoid the rise of taxes and spending cuts for we Americans. According to the New York Times, doing so bought them two more months to negotiate. Additionally, “the deal also reduced the size of the cuts by $24 billion, out of a total of $109 billion this year, with a combination of cuts and tax revenue measures.” Sounds pretty good, right? Not exactly my friend. You see, we’re at the end of February and there hasn’t been much movement from neither Democrats nor Republicans on this. But this evening, The White House released this fact sheet spilling the tea on what is on the chopping block come March 1st. Because I’m so passionate about education and I do live in D.C., here are a few things that stuck out to me in particular:
For the District of Columbia alone, the sequester would impact the following:
- Teachers and Schools: D.C will lose approximately $533,000 in funding for primary and secondary education. In addition about 1,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 2 fewer schools would receive funding. (Sadly, this could directly effect the scholars I work with daily.)
- Work-Study Jobs: Around 500 fewer low income students in the District of Columbia would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and around 510 fewer students will get work-study jobs that help them pay for college. (That’s almost 1,200 students that won’t be receiving (free) federal money to help pay for books, tuition and other expenses. Students will now have to ask for more loans? Great.)
- Head Start: Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for approximately 200 children in the District of Columbia, reducing access to critical early education. (So wait, now we can’t teach the babies?! This can’t be happening.)
On a national level, the sequester would eliminate millions of dollars in funding for public health, research and innovation and economic security just to name a few. You guys, THIS IS A HUGE DEAL! While many of these cuts won’t take effect immediately, some of them will put thousands of Americans at risk for losing their jobs, homes and other necessary benefits they need in order to survive within the next nine months. And while there is an opportunity to cancel these cuts, President Obama would like a “50-50 mix of spending cuts and tax increases” to take place of the sequester.
As your friend, I can only tell you so much — but reading is fundamental and I challenge you to go read up on everything that has been taking place. The White House has even broke it down by how each state will be effected.
What are your thoughts? Do you think that Congress will beat the clock this time around?
I guess we will have to wait until Friday to see what happens — stay tuned.