Schools; unemployment, Social Security beneficiaries would feel federal cuts

5:54 PM, Feb 25, 2013   |    comments
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SACRAMENTO, CA - If the federal cuts go through, sequestration will be felt the hardest in California's public schools.

The state Department of Education estimates that between grants for low-income kids and special ed students, Head Start and other programs, classrooms will lose $260 million. That's roughly 2,000 teachers and aides getting pink slips.

Capitol Advisors President Kevin Gordon says that's bad news for urban areas.

"Federal assistance tends to be sent out to school districts based on the number of poor kids you have and kids that are at risk," Gordon said.

On top of that, a million dollars in vaccine funding means nearly 16,000 children will not be getting their necessary shots.

Over at the unemployment office, another hit for the long-term unemployed receiving benefit extensions ... their checks could be smaller.

"We've been informed by the U.S. Department of Labor that the employment benefit amounts for long-term unemployed individuals could be cut by as much as 10 percent," said Employment Development Department representative Loree Levy.

Forget services like job training and telephone assistance, because EDD's administrative budget is in line for severe cutbacks.

"That means the ability to answer the phone, process the workload timely and get people their benefits timely." said Levy.

 The elderly will especially be vulnerable if sequestration took effect.

Programs like Meals on Wheels will not be able to provide as much food if its budget is cut 10 percent..

For one local seniors center near the State Capitol, that means serving roughly 50,000 fewer meals a year.

That scares Paul Williams because his monthly Social Security check doesn't go far.

"After I pay my rent and utilities, buy a little medicine and then to the grocery story ..."))

Reporter: "It's not enough?"

 Williams: "No. I'm always hungry." 

"Public safety would also be on the chopping block with fewer FBI and Drug Enforcement agents on California streets.

Nannette Miranda


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