As the irrational, Republican policy of sequester continues, more news this morning about the consequences of leaving this senseless policy in place without a balanced alternative to replace it. According to a report in POLITICO, the sequester’s furloughs of teachers, administrators, and support staff at Defense Department schools at installations around the world are set to delay school openings by as many as five days. For students, especially those beginning at new schools or entering high school, losing those critical first days of the school year could be a serious setback as they lose classroom hours. From POLITICO:
“’It means that the children of the military forces are going to lose a full five days of school over the children who are receiving a regular public education. That is such a disservice to our military personnel,’ said Michael Priser, president of the Federal Education Association. …The early days after the summer break are a critical time when schools gauge what skills may have lapsed over the summer and get students back into the routine and rhythm of the school day, Priser said.”
These school opening delays are just the latest undeserved consequence to our men and women in uniform, coming on top of furloughs for the 650,000 civilian defense workers support them, as well as sequester cuts that grounded air combat units and reduced training opportunities. The sequester, which the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported this week could prevent the creation of up to 1.6 million new jobs by the end of the next fiscal year if left in place, is the wrong approach to deficits and is harming both our economy and national security. Speaker Boehner could take an important step toward ending the sequester by appointing budget conferees who can begin negotiating a big and balanced solution with the Senate. Until he does, our military service members and their families will continue to experience the sequester’s harmful effects.