5 Reasons You Should Care About Across-the-Board Budget Cuts

Sequestration. What does this word even mean?  Starting in January, there will be $1.2 trillion in across-the-board spending cuts (sequestration) over 10 years to reduce the deficit. This is on top of $1.5 trillion in cuts that have already happened. Cuts are split equally between defense and domestic programs.

Here are the top 5 reasons why you should care:

1.    Budget cuts, the kind that don’t ever heal.

If the automatic, across-the-board budget cuts kick in on January 2 then education funding would drop to pre-2003 levels, even though public schools now have 5.4 million more students since then.

All federal education programs, including Title 1, IDEA, Head Start and English language learner grants, would face a $4.8 billion reduction in 2013.

2.    This really hurts our kids.

More than 9 million students would lose essential services.

Head Start cuts would eliminate slots for almost 80,000 young children in early education programs.

Nearly $1 billion in cuts to IDEA would impact almost more than a half a million students with disabilities.

Education programs for homeless children would be cut by $5.3 million.

School Improvement Grants would be cut by $44 million, hurting 67,000 students in our neediest schools.

3.    Education jobs are at stake.

More than 78,000 jobs across pre-K-12 and higher education would be eliminated.

These across-the-board cuts will cost up to 2.1 million jobs when you factor in the professions outside of education.

4.    It’s about fairness.

Instead of going ahead with $1.2 trillion in across-the-board budget cuts over 10 years, which will kill jobs and hurt families, Congress should, at a minimum, end the Bush tax cuts for the richest 2%. This will raise roughly $1 trillion over 10 years, marking a major step closer to meeting the needed savings.

5.    Struggling families need our help.

Federal spending was already cut by $1.5 trillion in the first round of deficit reduction in 2011. Sixty percent of the cuts came from programs important to our families such as such as education, food safety, environmental protection and law enforcement. We cannot afford more cuts to education, job training and safety, medical research, child care, and transportation programs that protect the middle class and low-income families and communities.

Now, what can you do? We need to make sure Congress takes a balanced approach that makes sure everyone, including the richest 2% and corporations, plays by the same rules and that doesn’t further cut education and other priorities.  It’s time to stop putting the burden for deficit reduction on the shoulders of kids and working families.

Mary Kusler is the government relations director of the National Education Association.

Sign our pledge today and promise to hold your members of Congress accountable. #KidsNotCuts

Comments (15)

  1. #kidsnotcuts

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  3. Severe budget cuts of this sort will relegate America to increasing mediocrity and condemn our nation to the ash heap of history as an also ran.

  4. We could, to be fair, have all government employees contribute 40% to their healthcare and %50 percent into non government 401k retirement plans. Also the full benefit package would not be funded for life. As you can see since the election there will be less taxpayers to foot the bills due to Obamacare and excessive regulations and taxes looming ahead. Taxing “the rich” a smiple minded class warfare tactic will only hurt the entire country by eliminating jobs and forcing outsourcing.

  5. More — or even the same amount of money isn’t going to solve the horrific problems in the public schools. Get real, folks. Quit wasting the tax-payer money you already have.

  6. It’s not about fairness, it’s about making the economy grow. That’s not done through raising taxes it’s done through allowing business to grow and then they pay more taxes. The problem with the educational system is that the teachers union is for themselves and not the kids.

    • And what do you do for a living? Obviously, you are completely unfamiliar and ignorant to the facts of most negotiated labor agreements. Look at the details and you will see that safety and security, classroom resources and classroom sizes are just a few of the ways that unions speak on behalf of the students. The fact is, everytime the unions go to the table, teachers are making contractual concessions from pay reduction, increased health care premiums, and pay freezes. When’s the last time you took a pay cut for the betterment of someone else. Get off your high horse and look at the facts before you speak.

  7. Cut these programs now. The US is broke and the federal government has no Constituional Authority to regulate or fund education.

    • They have no constitutional authority to help people through welfare. Cut education and watch the cost of welfare rise. Cause and effect. You should have learned this in school…

  8. It truly concerns me when we cut our educational system so much, when so many changes are necessary. It appears that the government is satisfied that the public educational system is severely lacking. This country can’t compete in the top 20% of educational systems. This system needs to be re structured and re-organized, not cut down to less than what it already is. It is shameful mess, and I can’t believe anyone in government is proud of the existing institution.

  9. Pingback: 5 Reasons You Should Care About Across-the-Board Budget Cuts | Edvoices «

  10. I have been an educator (Teacher, School Counselor) for 34 years. I am appauled at the fact that this country does not value educators and more importantly, the children. Make further cuts will only mean this country will no longer be the greatest country in the world, because we will have more students drop out than ever in the history of this country. We need to spend MORE to overhaul our system to not only meet the ever demanding needs of our students, but to provide them with a real world education. I am sorry, but College is NOT for all. We need more vocational programs for students who are just not cut out for College. We are losing our students because we are making the non-academic student feel like a failure because he/she does not fit the mold. Education has to stop being a one size fits all mentality. Put students first. This is only the tip of the iceberg. Students need emotional support. Today’s student faces more life altering experiences than ever before with the downfall of the economy and the increase in drug addicted parents. We need to make rehab affordable for parents and students. We need more programs in schools to deter making poor choices. Teens turn to drugs/alcohol when they do not see success in their future. Please reconsider making cuts to education. Again, what I have written here today is only the tip of the iceburg there is so much more.

  11. Why not cut the money from the companies that publish standardized tests? How about eliminating the jobs that people who score those tests have- they’re not teachers! I thought our newly re- elected President was going to create new jobs! This isn’t all on Congress’s shoulders. How ironic that after the election, we receive news that 76, 000 jobs will be cut! and cuts to all the programs that would help to cut the achievement gaps with disaggregate groups! Get rid of the testing corporations which arereallyrunning ( and ruining) American education.

  12. Across the board cuts are (let’s admit it) the FAIREST way to may any spending cuts. Unless you have a particular program you’d like to eliminate, then the 2nd best way is to not may any judgment calls on what is a better program than another. Just cut an even percentage across the board on every program.

  13. Education must receive more funding, not less funding.

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