Reps. Judy Chu and Adam Schiff denounce sequester and its impact on local education

Friday morning, Representatives Judy Chu (CA-27) and Adam Schiff (CA-28) were joined by Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard and Pasadena Unified School District Superintendent Jon R. Gundry at a press conference and other leaders outlining the negative impact of sequestration on local education. Both Chu and Schiff have been outspoken critics of the mandatory across-the-board budget cuts, known as sequestration, and have consistently pushed for a balanced alternative that would combine a mix of targeted spending cuts with increased revenue and closing tax loopholes.

“Sequestration slashes spending without considering who gets hurt. It cuts education spending hindering our kids’ ability to reach their full potential. Education is the key to their brighter future, not some slush fund to be gutted when politicians want to save a dime or two. The experiences of local officials and parents being squeezed by this irresponsible and haphazard approach to governing reinforce the need for Congress to come together and repeal these harmful cuts.” Chu said during the press conference.

“Sequestration cuts the good with the bad, the efficient with the inefficient, and is the latest in a series of man-made and completely avoidable crises. It’s deeply frustrating because our economy is finally poised to recover if we could just get out of the way. Instead we are adopting an austerity budget that is certain to cost us hundreds of thousands of jobs. Reducing the debt is important, but it isn’t a substitute for an economic plan. With sequestration, education will be among the hardest hit of the nation’s priorities. This is tragically shortsighted – the most important investments we make are in our schools and in the next generation. In our zeal to cut the debt, we must not reduce our investment in the future or we will have struck the worst of all bargains.”Adam Schiff told reporters Friday morning.

Education programs across the country face significant cuts under sequestration. In California alone, projected cuts include $135 million in funding for Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), $100 million in funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), $78 million in Head Start funding for early childhood education, and $5.2 million in Impact Aid funding for federally impacted students, including children of active duty military members. The Pasadena Unified School District alone will face a 5.9% reduction, totaling almost $900,000 that will target their Title I, Title II, and the IDEA funds.

The Facts about Sequestration and Education Nationwide:

Youth Education
” Cuts to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Child Care and Development Fund could leave 30,000 low-income children without child care subsidies, denying them access to developmental programs. [White House]
” 70,000 young children could be kicked off Head Start. [White House]
” Title I education funds could be eliminated for more than 2,700 schools, cutting support for 1.2 million disadvantaged students. [White House]
” 4,300 fewer at-risk youth could have access to Job Corps education and skills training program. [House Committee on Appropriations]
” The Department of Education could see approximately $2.4 billion in cuts. [Report on Previous, Pending, and Future Cuts to Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education]
Higher Education
” The Marines have announced they have stopped their Military Education Tuition Assistance Program immediately as a result of the sequester, which could make it more difficult for active-duty Marines to afford to further their education. [Navy Live, 3/2]
” Funding for federal work study grants could be cut by $49 million and supplemental education opportunity grants could be cut by $37 million, both of which could affect students’ financial aid. [ABC News, 2/28]
” Student Loans: Origination fees on Stafford and PLUS loans could go up on July 1 for more than 10 million students who use them to pay for college [College Board, National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs]
” More than 100,000 students could lose major portions of their financial aid, and millions more could see their aid reduced by up to $876 a year. [Student Aid Alliance, 1/21]
Teachers and Staff
” Funding for up to 7,200 special education teachers, aides and staff could be cut. [White House]
” The Pentagon says it could be forced to furlough 15,000 military school teachers and staff around the world, with teachers being forced to take a day off each week. [POLITICO, 3/4]
” Title I reductions could put the jobs of approximately 10,000 teachers and aides at risk. [White House]
” The Impact Aid Basic Support Payments program could lose $60 million under sequestration[Secretary of Education, 2/14], significantly impacting 1,600 schools on Indian reservations and military bases [Washington Post, 3/5].
” Community and faith based organizations, small businesses, local governments and school systems could have to lay off over 14,000 teachers, teacher assistants and other staff. [White House]
judy chu
Judy Chu

Adam Schiff -Photos by Terry Miller

March 8, 2013

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