White House details looming spending cuts in VA - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

White House details looming spending cuts in VA

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

President Obama's administration released a detailed report Sunday, outlining the massive, looming spending cuts that would impact Virginia, and the rest of the country.

Those automatic budget cuts, known as the sequester, are slated to happen this Friday, March 1st, if Congress can't agree on how to control the country's huge debt.

Virginia could lose millions of dollars in federal funding to everything from the military, to meals for seniors, and even education. The U.S. Education Secretary, Arne Duncan, spelled out the impact on education.

"A lot more children will not get the kinds of services and opportunities that they need, and as many as 40,000 teachers could lose their jobs," said Duncan.

In Virginia, the automatic spending cuts would slash $14 million from schools. Richmond school board member Shonda Harris-Muhammed says that would mean at-risk students would likely lose programs first, such as after school tutoring.

"This is about 14,000 children in the commonwealth who will be impacted because of that sequestration if it happens on the 28th, and Houston, we got a problem if that happens," said Harris-Muhammed, who is working with other Richmond School Board members to hash out the city's school budget.

An estimated 190 teachers and aide jobs would also be in jeopardy in the Commonwealth. About 40 schools in Virginia would lose funding.

"I know that local school division superintendents, as well as administrators, are just sitting and waiting," continued Harris-Muhammed.

Another drastic measure would be to Virginia's Head Start program. A thousand young children across the state would lose critical early education.

"Where are we going to put the children who attend our Head Start program? That's one of the most viable programs that help our children to be on grade level and reading and math, entering kindergarten," explained Harris-Muhammed.

President Obama is scheduled to arrive in Newport News on Tuesday, another area were many jobs are on the line.

NBC12 will continue to follow all new developments in the week ahead.

Copyright 2013 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

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