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How Federal Budget Cuts Could Slash Illinois Funds

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How Federal Budget Cuts Could Slash Illinois Funds

AP

President Barack Obama, flanked by Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, gives his State of the Union address during a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill.

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Illinois teachers and school children may pay the price as the United States sits on the brink of another fiscal cliff.

Drastic spending cuts kick in Friday unless legislators find a better way to slash billions from the budget.

A letter issued Sunday by the White House detailed the effects of the automatic federal cuts that could go into effect in March and noted Illinois stands to lose $33.4 million in education funding that would put 460 teacher jobs at risk.

The state stands to lose another $25 million that goes directly toward hiring teachers and aides who work with students with disabilities. Similarly, Indiana could lose $13.8 million in education funding, threatening 190 teacher jobs, and $12.4 million in funding for special needs students.

The Head Start program has could feel a big hit as well. In Illinois 2,700 kids would lose out on Head Start services, and in Indiana that number would be about 1,000.

Funding for childcare also could be cut if the automatic federal cuts go through, and 1,100 low-income children could lose access to childcare in Illinois.

The White House says that's an important number because reliable, affordable child care is essential for working parents to be able to keep working and for the economy to grow. If you're already unemployed, the cuts will have an impact there as well.

In another area of the state, the Federal Aviation Administration says the cuts will force it to furlough thousands of air traffic controllers. 

The automatic cuts could close about 100 smaller air traffic control towers in the country, including nine in Illinois. Waukegan, Aurora and DuPage West are on the list.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Sunday there's still time for reach a compromise.
 

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