Photo: U.S. Congress
On March 1, 2013 automatic cuts that were delayed from the January 2nd “fiscal cliff” debates will go into effect if Congress does not take immediate action. What do these cuts mean for the Latino community?
These cuts, known as sequesters, would force the economic recovery to ride upon the backs of America’s most vulnerable populations, including many Latinos, affecting health, education, housing and many other issues.
LULAC urges you to contact your Senators and Representatives and encourage them to find alternatives, such as revenue building, to these drastic and harmful cuts.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and other Senators outlined a plan on February 14, known as the American Family Economic Protection Act, that would replace the 2013 cuts by setting a minimum tax rate for millionaires, closing other loopholes, gradually cutting the Pentagon and ending certain farm subsidies. It will be up for a vote during the week of February 25. For more information on this alternative to sequestration read this summary from the Coalition on Human Needs.
Find below the effects on Latinos and health, education, and housing to better understand the severity of the cuts.
The Effects of the Sequester on Latino Health
Many Latinos in the U.S. rely on available assistance programs to make ends meet. Cuts to programs such as WIC, SNAP, Medicare, Medicaid, and Head Start will jeopardize the health of these individuals and their families. Overall, sequesters will impose $31.4 billion in cuts to domestic programs like WIC, Head Start, child care, housing, home energy, and homeless aid, education and training, and much more. Medicare will be cut by $11.2 billion. Tell your representatives that further limiting access to food and medical care is unacceptable.
For more information on how the sequesters will affect your state, see these helpful fact sheets from the Coalition on Human Needs.
The Effects of the Cuts on Education
The Department of Education faces a 7.8% reduction in funding for large State formula grant programs that serve over 21 million students in high-poverty schools and 6.6 million students with special needs, and could force districts to lay off teachers and reduce services to these needy children.
English Language Acquisition State Grants, which help English language learners and recent immigrant students learn English and become proficient in academic content standards, face cuts of nearly $60 million which would allow for over 350,000 fewer English language learners to be served in our education system.
States with the largest Latino populations would see the largest of English Language Acquisition State Grants sequester cuts, as detailed in the chart to the right.
English Language Learner (ELL) enrollment continues to grow across the American education system. Since 1995, ELL enrollment has grown 57%, compared to less than 4% of all student growth. With over 5 million ELL students in the country, America’s education system has a population composed of more than 10% by ELL students.