February 25, 2013

Missouri and Kansas schools would be hit by sequester

Missouri will lose $12 million and Kansas $5.5 million in federal school funding if Friday’s scheduled sequester takes effect, the White House said Sunday.

Missouri will lose almost $12 million in funding for its schools if Friday’s scheduled federal spending sequester takes place, the White House said Sunday.

Those cuts will put 160 teacher and teacher’s aide jobs at risk, it said. Kansas will lose $5.5 million and face the loss of 80 education positions.

The figures were part of a state-by-state breakdown of the potential costs of the sequester, a mandatory reduction in some federal spending that is scheduled to begin March 1 unless action by Congress averts it.

Obama administration officials say the sequester cuts — roughly $85 billion through the end of September — will cause serious disruption in services such as commercial aviation and military preparedness.

Republicans have pushed back, saying the cuts amount to a small percentage of overall federal spending. They’ve also proposed an alternative that would give the executive branch more leeway in deciding what programs to cut if the sequester hits.

The White House said roughly 8,000 civilian defense workers will face unpaid furloughs in Missouri, with a similar number in Kansas.

Other cuts will come in Head Start, children’s vaccines and nutrition programs for seniors.

“These large and arbitrary cuts will have severe impacts across the government,” the White House statement said.

Food stamps, Social Security payments and veterans’ programs will not be affected by the sequester.

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