Funding for education in New Jersey would be slashed by nearly $30 million and drastic cuts made to health care programs and environmental protection should Congress fail to halt $85 billion in "sequestration" spending cuts scheduled to take hold March 1, the White House said Sunday.
The federal government would save $75 million by furloughing 11,000 civilian military contractors, and another $59 million by cutting funding to military bases.
Locally, the impact to schools is not yet known, said Manasquan Interim Superintendent Robert McMahon. But the programs affected by the cuts are used in Manasquan schools, he said, such as federal funding for special education and Child Study Team.
Looking at the impact to New Jersey, the cuts would include:
- Approximately $11.7 million in funding for primary and secondary education.
- About $17 million in funds for about 210 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities.
- Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for approximately 1,300 children.
- Approximately 11,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed.
- New Jersey will lose about $336,000 in Justice Assistance Grants.
- Up to 600 disadvantaged and vulnerable children could lose access to child care.
The Manasquan School District is planning for a trickledown effect, McMahon said, but the exact impact is not known.
It does have an impact on the budget process, he said.
"Since we are never sure of the amount of federal aid when we are preparing our budget, we anticipate a percentage of the current year’s funding for the following year," McMahon said. "I expect that there will be a trickledown effect from these cuts."
McMahon pointed out the programs that might be impacted: "We receive federal government funding which supports a portion of our Special Education Program. Some of that funding offsets part of the salaries of some of the Child Study Team members. We also receive Title One funds which we use to support portions of the Elementary Reading program."
The total federal spending cuts would be about $1.2 trillion over the next nine years. Republicans have accused the president of using the impending cuts for political gain.
President Obama's plan asks for increased tax revenues to offset some of the trillion-dollar cuts.