White House outlines Kentucky's financial losses if sequester takes effect

February 24, 2013 

A child climbed the wall in October 2011 at a new playground at the Russell School Community Services Center on Toner Street, which reopened for children in Head Start and Early Head Start programs. Charles Bertram | 2011 staff file photo

LEXINGTON HERALD-LEADER

The White House said Sunday that Kentucky could lose millions of dollars this year alone if Congress doesn't act by Friday.

That's when a series of automatic cuts — called sequestration — will take effect.

For example, Kentucky would lose $11.8 million for primary and secondary education, "putting around 160 teacher and aide jobs at risk," the White House said in a news release.

Education for children with disabilities also would be affected, the White House said. The state would lose $7.7 million for about 90 teachers, aides and staff who help children with disabilities.

Meanwhile, Head Start and Early Head Start services "would be eliminated for about 1,100 children in Kentucky, reducing access to critical early education," the release said.

Military readiness also would be affected, although the news release didn't specify the effects for Fort Knox, Fort Campbell or the Blue Grass Army Depot in Madison County. The news release simply said that about 11,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, "reducing gross pay by around $54.4 million in total." Additionally, funding for base operations would be cut by $122 million in Kentucky, the news release said.

Kentucky would lose $2.1 million in environmental funding to ensure clean water and air quality, and $478,000 for job-search assistance, referral and placement. The latter could mean that 16,690 fewer people get the help and skills they need to find employment.

And Kentucky would lose $677,000 for meals for senior citizens, the White House said.

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