If you haven’t been paying attention to the “sequester,” you might want to read on. The White House has released state-by-state reports documenting the impact the automatic spending cuts will have. Here is what they estimate will occur in Pennsylvania starting March 1st, when they’re set to occur (barring Congressional action). Warning: it ain’t pretty.
- $26.4 million in lost funding for public education, jeopardizing about 360 teacher and aide jobs. 90 fewer schools and 29,000 students would lose funds.
- $5,705,000 in lost funding for clean air and water.
- 26,000 Department of Defense employees would be furloughed.
- 5,280 fewer children will get vaccinated for diseases such as measles, tetanus, Hepatitis B, and the flu.
- 2,300 fewer children would receive Head Start or Early Head Start pre-school.
- $849,000 reduction in funds for meals for seniors.
- 36,860 fewer people will lose access to job training programs.
- 2,290 fewer students will receive work study jobs to help fund their college educations.
- $21.4 million in lost funding for about 260 teachers who work students with disabilities.
There’s more on the sequester’s effect on Pennsylvania here. The White House, in the report, urges Congress to avoid these cuts. But it bears repeating that President Obama signed into law the sequester, assuming Congress could get its act together in time to avoid this ham-fisted sort of deficit reduction. Turns out that may have been a major strategic error, given the changing nature of the Republican Party.