Fearing that kids’ programs will be the targets of deep cuts when Congress returns in November, ECM s has developed a short paper, “Dark Clouds Ahead? The Pending Threat of Congressional Actions to Children’s Safety Net Programs,” describing the potential effects of these actions on children’s health, education and safety.
If Congress keeps the automatic across-the-board cut of 8.4% scheduled to begin January 1, 2013, 75,000 fewer children would receive Head Start services; 460,000 special education students would receive fewer services too and cause 12,500 special education staff to lose their jobs; and 734,000 households would not receive home heating or air conditioning support, among many other cuts.
Some in Congress are already bemoaning the cuts they made earlier but not to programs for children, but to the Department of Defense. Half the automatic sequestration cuts are due to come from Defense and half from social safety net type programs. Last May, the House voted to get rid of those Defense cuts and make even deeper cuts to programs supporting children. Child nutrition would take a serious hit as would prevention of child abuse and neglect and children’s health care. The House is also proposing repeal of the Child Tax Credit, which kept 1.3 million children out of poverty in 2009.
Yet another House budget resolution, passed in 2012, calls for even more cuts to children’s programs. ECM believes Congress should be proposing investments that benefit children, not cuts that will harm them. Remember to make your voice heard. Vote with kids’ needs in mind on November 6, because they can’t.