It’s actually $85 billion in cuts from almost all areas of the federal budget. The effects are widespread and disturbing for North Carolina children and families.
North Carolina will lose almost $63 million in funding for schools. Title I schools – which receive extra funds from the federal government because they have high percentages of children from low-income families – will get hit the hardest, losing more than $25 million in funding. Almost $17 million will come from funds which go toward the education of children with disabilities. In fact, a whole bunch of programs of importance to the disability community will see funding cuts.
Approximately 22,000 North Carolina civilians who work for the military will be furloughed, losing gross pay of $117.5 million. They will lose one day of work each week for 22 weeks. In addition, all non-essential contracts will be suspended as of April 1. As the New Bern Sun Journal reports, “The 1,364 open contracts at the [Cherry Point Air Station] involve everything from work gloves to $100 million for engineering and logistics support.” Of course, those contracts are with private companies that may have to lay off workers when they no longer have the military’s business.
Even the price of meat is likely to go up as food inspectors will also be furloughed! The head of the American Meat Institute predicted “tighter meat supplies, leading to higher checkout prices and less meat that companies can donate to food banks and other charities.”
That’s just a sampling. And none of this was actually necessary. Congress had many other options, and they could actually put a stop to the sequestration right now.