Deep, nationwide cuts are geared to take place March 1. They're the first of a decade-long $1.2 trillion budget cut plan poised to go into effect unless congress can compromise on a deficit-reduction plan.
For the Plainfield school district — which is already seeing the impact of an uncertain state funding situation — the sequester could mean losing another million dollars, according to District 202 board member Rod Westfall.
Westfall, who in the past has been outspoken when it comes to state and federal funding issues, said the board has not discussed the potential loss — or the cuts that may come with it — since it's still unclear whether the sequester will come to pass.
Board member Mike Kelly said the sequester could impact Title I funding. Title I is a federally funded program aimed at assisting children from low-income families.
"The thing that's at risk for us that is immediate is Title I funds," Kelly said.
District 202 Director of Community Relations Tom Hernandez said the district cannot confirm the $1 million estimate, since officials have not yet seen any details on the proposed cuts.
Here’s what Illinois stands to lose, according to the White House:
- Teachers and Schools: Illinois will lose approximately $33.4 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 460 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 39,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 120 fewer schools would receive funding.
- Education for Children with Disabilities: In addition, Illinois will lose approximately $24.7 million in funds for about 300 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities.
- Work-Study Jobs: Around 3,280 fewer low income students in Illinois would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and around 2,650 fewer students will get work-study jobs that help them pay for college.
- Head Start: Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for approximately 2,700 children in Illinois, reducing access to critical early education.
- Military Readiness: In Illinois, approximately 14,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $83.5 million in total.
- Army: Base operation funding would be cut by about $19 million in Illinois.
- Air Force: Funding for Air Force operations in Illinois would be cut by about $7 million.
- Navy: Four planned Naval Station Great Lakes demolition projects ($2 million) could be canceled and a scheduled Blue Angels show in Rockford could be canceled.
- Law Enforcement and Public Safety Funds for Crime Prevention and Prosecution: Illinois will lose about $587,000 in Justice Assistance Grants that support law enforcement, prosecution and courts, crime prevention and education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, and crime victim and witness initiatives.
- Vaccines for Children: In Illinois around 5,230 fewer children will receive vaccines for diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough, influenza, and Hepatitis B due to reduced funding for vaccinations of about $357,000.
- Public Health: Illinois will lose approximately $968,000 in funds to help upgrade its ability to respond to public health threats including infectious diseases, natural disasters, and biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological events. In addition, Illinois will lose about $3.5 million in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse, resulting in around 3,900 fewer admissions to substance abuse programs. And the Illinois State Department of Public Health will lose about $186,000 resulting in around 4,600 fewer HIV tests.
- STOP Violence Against Women Program: Illinois could lose up to $273,000 in funds that provide services to victims of domestic violence, resulting in up to 1,000 fewer victims being served.
Written by Ryan Fitzpatrick