The word “sequestration” has been talked about and when asking some people truly do not understand what it means only changes started March 1st. What is sequestration? The sequestration was created in August 2011 as part of the Budget Control Act of 2011, which ended that year’s showdown over raising the federal debt ceiling. Due to Congress failure to come up with a deficit reduction plan, the Budget Control calls for $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts over the next decade.
The sequestration is already taking place with the most vulnerable being effected first our children. These cuts to child care and early care education is adversely affecting tens of thousands of low-income families. Here is a breakdown of the expected effects for North Carolina.
- Head Start and Early Head Start services for approximately 1.500 children will be eliminated or reduced in access to services.
- Child care services for up to 1,300 disadvantages children could lose access to child care services.
- Teachers and schools will lose approximately $25.4 million in funds for primary and secondary education that puts around 350 teachers and assistants jobs at risk. Projected numbers that about 38,000 fewer students will be served with approximately 80 fewer schools receiving funds.
- Education for children with disabilities will lose approximately $16.8 million in funds for about 200 teachers, assistants and staff.
- Vaccines for approximately 3,550 children will not be administered due to reduce funding of about $243,000.
Early childhood advocates we must talk to our members of Congress about the importance of public investment and the devastating impact to children, parents, communities, states and our nation that sequestration would have on child care and early education programs. Tell your members of Congress to act responsibly and take a balanced approach to deficit reduction. Your actions will ensure that vital programs continue to make a difference in the lives of young children and their families to continue to exist for future generations.