Budget cuts could affect 5,000 Idaho students

Idaho stands to lose some $3.7 million in federal education funding, if the “sequestration” budget cuts go into effect Friday, the White House said Sunday.

Five days before $85 billion of automatic federal budget cuts are scheduled to go into effect, the White House issued a state-by-state breakdown on the sequestration impacts.

Here’s what the report had to say about Idaho and education:

  • The $3.7 million in primary and secondary education cuts would jeopardize about 50 teacher and aide jobs and affect 5,000 students.
  • Idaho stands to lose an additional $2.9 million for teaching children with disabilities. About 30 teachers, aides or staffers could lose their jobs.
  • Head Start and Early Head Start cuts could affect early education for roughly 200 students.
  • At the college level, about 170 low-income students could lose financial aid and 40 students could lose work-study jobs.

The White House numbers differ from National Education Association forecasts on sequestration. The NEA said Idaho education stands to lose $10.9 million.

The White House says the sequester could jeopardize up to 10,000 teaching jobs nationally; 7,200 special education jobs; and Head Start programs for 70,000 young children.

There are exemptions to the sequestration cuts — in areas such as Social Security and Pell Grants for college students. Generally, 5 percent would be cut from nondefense programs, and 8 percent from defense programs. But since the cuts would come on March 1 — five months into the 2012-13 budget year — they would amount to a 9 percent cut in nondefense programs and 13 percent in the military. “These large and arbitrary cuts will have severe impacts across the government,” the White House said Sunday.