What the sequester means to Kentucky


Julian E. Wright

Unless Congress acts by March 1st, a series of automatic cuts—called the sequester—will take effect, resulting in $85 billion in forced budget cuts between now and the end of September.

If sequestration were to take effect, some examples of the impacts on Kentucky this year alone are:

Teachers and Schools: Kentucky will lose approximately $11.8 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 160 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition about 21,000 fewer students would be served and approximately 40 fewer schools would receive funding.

Education for Children with Disabilities: In addition, Kentucky will lose approximately $7.7  million in funds for about 90 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities.

Work-Study Jobs: Around 1,710 fewer low income students in Kentucky would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and around 470 fewer students will get work-study jobs that help them pay for college.

Head Start: Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for approximately 1,100 children in Kentucky, reducing access to critical early education.

Protections for Clean Air and Clean Water: Kentucky would lose about $2.1 million in environmental funding to ensure clean water and air quality, as well as prevent pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste. In addition, Kentucky could lose another $774,000 in grants for fish and wildlife protection.

Military: In Kentucky, approximately 11,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $54.4 million in total. Base operation funding would be cut by about $122 million in Kentucky.

Law Enforcement and Public Safety Funds for Crime Prevention and Prosecution: Kentucky will lose about $171,000 in Justice Assistance Grants that support law enforcement, prosecution and courts, crime prevention and education, corrections and community corrections, drug treatment and enforcement, and crime victim and witness initiatives.

Job Search Assistance to Help those in Kentucky find Employment and Training: Kentucky will lose about $478,000 in funding for job search assistance, referral, and placement, meaning around 16,690 fewer people will get the help and skills they need to find employment.

Child Care: Up to 500 disadvantaged and vulnerable children could lose access to child care, which is also essential for working parents to hold down a job.

Vaccines for Children: In Kentucky around 1,350 fewer children will receive vaccines for diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, whooping cough, influenza, and Hepatitis B due to reduced funding for vaccinations of about $92,000.

Public Health: Kentucky will lose approximately $414,000 in funds to help upgrade its ability to respond to public health threats including infectious diseases, natural disasters, and biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiological events. In addition, Kentucky will lose about $1 million in grants to help prevent and treat substance abuse, resulting in around 1,200 fewer admissions to substance abuse programs. And the Kentucky State Cabinet of Health and Family Services will lose about $83,000 resulting in around 2,100 fewer HIV tests.

STOP Violence Against Women Program: Kentucky could lose up to $93,000 in funds that provide services to victims of domestic violence, resulting in up to 400 fewer victims being served.

Nutrition Assistance for Seniors: Kentucky would lose approximately $677,000 in funds that provide meals for seniors.


Information provided by the White House