Sequester cuts will hit New York hard

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Major New York state and city programs will take an immediate hit of $3.4 million in funding from nationwide budget cuts, starting on Friday, Mar. 1, according to numbers released by the White House. And that’s only the beginning of a series of cuts over nine months that will affect everything from childcare programs to senior citizens to public housing and Superstorm Sandy aid. The cuts come as part of the so-called sequester, an automatic $85 trillion reduction in national spending cuts, that goes into affect today, in an effort to reduce the federal deficit. The sequester is part of a compromise passed by Congress when they raised the debt ceiling in 2011. As part of that agreement, if the government failed to cut $1.2 trillion from the national debt, then automatic spending cuts, called the sequester, would go into affect.
“Financially it will not be as impactful on the state government as it would be on individuals because it’s more assistance that goes to individuals,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Wednesday, Feb. 27.
The state’s own financial plan for dealing with the sequester estimates that New York could lose up to five billion in Federal funds over the next nine years if the national budget cuts are enacted.
The sequester would cut $42.7 million from primary and secondary education in New York for the next school year. About 590 teachers and aides would lose their jobs and 120 schools would lose funding, affecting 70,000 students, according to White House numbers. Special education would also lose $36.3 million. New York City schools have already lost $240 million in January after failing to meet a deadline on finalizing the new teacher evaluation system.
The cuts would also affect childcare and vaccines for children in New York, leaving up to 2,300 children without care and 7,170 unvaccinated for common diseases such as measles and Hepatitis B. Roughly 4,300 low-income children would be removed from Head Start and Early Head Start programs, which provide educational support to children under five years old.
Government-provided meals for senior citizens would also see $1,447,000 in cuts.
College funding programs for low-income students would be cut by 5.1 percent, as would research funding from national organizations, Chancellor Matthew Goldstein of The City University of New York said in a statement.
In addition, up to 100,000 workers in the state could lose their jobs due to the sequester, a new study by Stephen Fuller from George Mason University estimated.
Sequestration would also cause a $375 million cut from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s disaster relief budget, which could affect Sandy recovery efforts.
With $1.94 billion cut from public housing support, the New York City Housing Authority reported that sequestration could lead to a 9 percent loss of funding and a $110 deficit, reducing services by 20 percent.

Education cuts

The sequester would cut $42.7 million from primary and secondary education in New York. About 590 teachers and aides would lose their jobs and 120 schools would lose funding. Special education would also lose $36.3 million, according to White House numbers. Special education would also lose $36.3 million.

Meals for senior citizens

Government-provided meals for senior citizens would see $1,447,000 in cuts in New York.

Job cuts

Up to 100,000 workers in the state could lose their jobs due to the sequester, a study from George Mason University estimated.

Public housing cuts

The New York City Housing Authority reported that sequestration could lead to a 9 percent loss of funding and a $110 deficit, reducing services by 20 percent.


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