From military training to educational grants to border patrols to hurricane relief, federal agencies face $85 billion in automatic, government-wide spending cuts this year. It was part of a $1.2 trillion deal struck by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama in 2011 to extend U.S. borrowing authority and cut the deficit….
In education, those cuts could mean $725 million less for a program that allocates funding to districts and schools with high percentages of lower income students, Education Secretary Arne Duncan told lawmakers Thursday.
It also could mean cutting funding to 70,000 low-income children who rely on Head Start for early childhood education programs. It might mean fewer teachers and staff, larger class sizes, less tutoring and higher unemployment, Duncan said, adding that he considered such cuts “morally indefensible.”
“The most vulnerable students will be hurt the most,” Duncan said.
Duncan, along with Office of Management and Budget Federal Controller Daniel Werfel, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan and Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter testified before the Senate Appropriations Committee on the impact of the proposed cuts.
Earlier this week, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano sent a letter to lawmakers saying sequester cuts could mean a potential cut in border patrol agents; difficulties for Immigration and Customs Enforcement in sustaining current detention and removal operations; increased passenger wait times at airports; reduced Federal Emergency Management Agency funding: furloughs, and more.
Donovan testified that Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts, the Federal Housing Administration’s ability to process loans and tens of thousands of jobs could all be affected.