If implemented as originally designed from 2013 to 2021, sequestration would cut a total of $1.2 trillion in spending over the next decade. While some programs that serve children were exempted from these across the board cuts, the result would still be dire for the neediest Americans, particularly when compounded by other cuts. The strict spending caps in the Budget Control Act mean that these non-defense discretionary programs will fall to their lowest level when compared to GDP in at least 50 years. If sequestration is allowed to take effect, cuts to non-defense discretionary programs will be even deeper. Finally, these cuts come on top of those states have made in order to balance their budgets in tough economic times.
In 2012, Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) released an analysis that demonstrated how dire sequestration cuts would be for children if they had gone into effect on January 2, 2013 as originally go into effect as originally intended:
- Head Start will serve 96,179 fewer low-income children.
- 80,000 fewer children and their families will receive child care subsidies.
- 5 million fewer families will be served by the Maternal/Child Health Block Grant, which provides funding for prenatal care, well child services, infant mortality, injury & violence, oral healthcare, school-based health programs, and eliminating racial/ethnic disparities.
- 211,958 fewer children will be vaccinated.
- $270,790,425 less funding available for heating and cooling assistance through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Nearly half of the families receiving LIHEAP assistance have at least one child.
- Title I grants will serve 1.8 million fewer students.
- 26,949 fewer children will be served by early intervention special education grants.
- 350,327 fewer English Language Learner (ELL) students will be served by English Language Acquisition Grants
- 1,133,981 fewer students will be served by grants for career and technical education.
- 51,577 fewer students will receive financial aid through the Federal Work Study program.
- 110,543 fewer students will receive aid through Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants
- 18,611 fewer youth will be served by the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), which provides training services to underemployed adults, and youth who have dropped out of high school and want to go back to school or enter the labor market.
- 4,350 fewer youth will receive education and training from Job Corps, which targets economically at-risk youth.