Bruce Lesley: Cuts to family services

November 22, 2012 

Cuts to family services

In his Nov. 20 Point of View article (“Indefensible cuts, but ...”) Matthew Leatherman rightly observes that federal budget sequestration has real consequences for North Carolina. But only half of sequestration’s impact is on defense. Non-defense cuts will also hit hard, costing more than 17,000 North Carolina jobs.

Why? Because sequestration makes deep cuts to investments that matter for kids and families. Nearly 66,000 North Carolina families would lose health services through the Maternal & Child Health Block Grant, and 22,000 would lose quality nutrition through WIC. About 65,000 North Carolina children would lose educational help, including 14,000 with disabilities.

These and many other cuts will cause broader economic harm. Teachers, nurses, food bank staff and other family-supporting jobs will feel the squeeze, as the investments that fund them dry up.

For the sake of North Carolina kids and North Carolina’s economy, any sequestration solution must protect non-defense investments, too.

Bruce Lesley

President, First Focus Campaign for Children

Washington

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