On Thursday, February 21, Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth (IL-8) met with representatives from local school districts to discuss the cuts that will take place under sequestration on March 1.
“Today I heard from administrators throughout my district, many of whom are facings hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of cuts because of reckless decisions made in Washington,” Duckworth said.
“These educators are concerned that Congress has chosen to put the burden of debt reduction on our children. The sequester will endanger special education programs and make a college education less accessible for low and middle income students," Duckworth said.
Duckworth added that the pending cuts will force local governments to either allow class sizes to grow and tuition to skyrocket, or to raise taxes on working families.
"It is wrongheaded to abandon investments in our future while continuing to allow waste at the Pentagon, fraud in Medicare and billions in tax breaks for special interests and large corporations. I look forward to going back to Washington and sharing the concerns of these leaders with my colleagues,” Duckworth said.
Among those who attended were District 25 Superintendent Dr. Sarah Jerome, District 15 Superintendent Scott Thompson and District 211 Superintendent Nancy Robb.
See the information below to understand better what cuts will be occurring:
Sequestration Cuts to Education
Reduction in Education Aid, Head Start, Child Care, and Maternal and Child Health
- K-12 Education: Title I grants to school districts, serving more than 2,500 schools and 1 million disadvantaged students, would see a cut of more than $750 million, which could eliminate more than 10,500 jobs of teachers and aides.
- Special Education: IDEA grants, serving 6.6 million students with special needs, would be reduced by more than $600 million, which could force layoffs of approximately 7,400 special education teachers and aides.
- Head Start and Early Head Start: Up to 70,000 children would lose access and up to 30,000 working parents would lose child care services.
- Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children: WIC would be cut by $353 million, resulting in over 600,000 low-income, women, infants, and children being dropped from the rolls.
- Higher Education:
- There will be cuts to Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant and federal work-study. Student loan origination fees would also increase. (Note: This paragraph has been updated to correct the percentage by which the supplemental grant and work-study would be cut. It is 8.2 percent, not 7.6 percent.)
- The federal programs whose grants sustain university research — the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health, as well as the National Endowment for the Humanities — would see the same across-the-board 7.6 percent cut to mandatory spending and 8.2 percent to discretionary spending.
- Federal college access programs, such as TRIO and GEAR UP, would also see a 8.2 percent cut.
Information provided by Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth.