Government Sequester impacts Lewis-Clark Early Childhood

LEWISTON, ID - The continuous disagreement between party lines regarding sequestration is worrisome as budget cuts will impact a new group.

Children and Educators alike are now feeling the pain from a series of federal automatic cuts, called sequestration because Congress and the president have been unable to reach an agreement regarding the national budget. That impasse has created issues here, locally at the Lewis-Clark Early Childhood Program.

"The sad part is that it does cut back services so kids won't receive the full compliment of instruction and support that they typically get," said Executive Director Dorlan Hergesheimer.

As it stands now Idaho has lost $3.7 million from general education and according to the White House press these cuts will jeopardize approximately 50 teachers, numerous classroom aides and about 5,000 students, the hardest hit are among the youngest generation.

"Now that it's in effect between now and the end of our fiscal year, which is the end of December we have to find a way to cut $200,000," said Hergesheimer.

Reducing services by shortening the school year is one proposed plan for the early child hood program, however this also has the potential of limiting what a child can learn in the shortened time.

"They wont have as many hours in the classroom obviously to spend with their teacher and to prepare for kindergarten," Coordinator Nancy Vassar Smith.

In order to cut the growing federal deficit an automatic budget cut like these are being felt from state to state, and has affected everything from national security to individuals with special needs.

"It's that whole inclusion piece and they'll miss that," said Manager Maureen Schuz. "They won't be here for that classroom time."

The budget designed to help teach children with disabilities will see cuts up to $2.9 million.

"That's a big set back for those families and for the children," said Vasser Smith.

Many of the people we have spoken with feel the success of our country's future lies within the minds of young students and believe education should be exempt from the budget cuts due to its vital nature for the future of the country.

"It has such a long term impact and implications for any society," said Hergesheimer.