The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

National and world

February 24, 2013

Sequester's effects on Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY — The White House compiled the numbers from federal agencies and its own budget office. The numbers are based only on the $85 billion in cuts for this fiscal year, from March-September, that are set to take effect Friday.

As to whether states could move money around to cover shortfalls, the White House said that depends on state budget structures and the specific programs. The White House did not have a list of which states or programs might have flexibility.

Education

• Oklahoma will lose about $4.9 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting about 70 teacher and aide jobs at risk. In addition, about 13,000 fewer students would be served, and about 40 fewer schools would receive funding.

• Oklahoma will lose about $7.3 million in funds for about 90 teachers, aides, and staff who help children with disabilities.

• About 460 fewer low-income students in Oklahoma would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college, and about 180 fewer students will get work-study jobs that help them pay for college.

• Head Start and Early Head Start services would be eliminated for about 800 children in Oklahoma, reducing access to critical early education.

Employment

• Job Search Assistance to Help those in Oklahoma find Employment and Training will lose about $339,000 in funding for job search assistance, referral, and placement, meaning about 12,080 fewer people will get the help and skills they need to find employment.

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

Environment

• Oklahoma would lose about $1,655,000 in environmental funding to ensure clean water and air quality, as well as prevent pollution from pesticides and hazardous waste.

• Oklahoma could lose about $998,000 in grants for fish and wildlife protection.

Defense

• In Oklahoma, about 24,000 civilian Department of Defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by about $123.9 million in total.

• Army base operation funding would be cut by about $48 million.

• Funding for Air Force operations in Oklahoma would be cut by about $20 million.

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