Sequester Impacting Education on Military Bases, Native American Reservations

While many impacts of the sequester will not be felt right away, a number of stories from across the country have started to trickle in. In case you missed it, according to a Washington Post report, 1,600 public schools on Native American reservations and military bases are feeling the impact of federal cuts now:                                                             

Federal dollars are largely concentrated on poor children and those with disabilities, and the amounts are determined according to the number of children in each category in every state. But two exceptions are schools on Indian reservations and military bases, which receive a larger share of their funds from Washington as compensation for the fact that they can’t raise funds from local property taxes.”

We may have to close those schools — we don’t have any other avenues at all,” Superintendent Debbie Jackson-Dennison [Window Rock School District Superintendent] said, adding that she will cut five administrators, 25 support staff and 35 certified teachers by the end of May.

School bus routes, vital in a large rural setting, will be reduced beginning this month, guaranteeing some children will ride an hour to and from school. The school closures are expected by Aug. 1, creating overcrowding in remaining schools, [Jackson-Dennison] said.”

Additionally, the Marines have announced they have stopped their Military Education Tuition Assistance Program immediately as a result of the sequester, which could make it more difficult for active-duty Marines to afford to further their education. As we ask our service members to complete longer tours of duty, we should not be eliminating their educational opportunities.

Bottom line for Republicans: We can still take action to stop the sequester before even more impacts are felt. We’ve even got a proposal on the table, just waiting for your action.