Specifics on How Sequestration Impacts Key Youth Services Programs

In the buildup to the onset of Sequestration last weekend, a flurry of charts and briefs emanated from Washington about the impact of these automatic cuts.

Perhaps the most useful communiqué for the youth services field came in an Office of Management and Budget letter sent to Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio). It takes each departmental program that is subject to Sequestration, lists the 2012 figure for the program, and notes the size of the automatic cut.

It’s a pretty long document obviously, but if you want to peruse click here. Following is a breakdown of some cuts that will directly impact youth and family-serving divisions of the government.

Notes are included on some lines. But on a more broad level, the big unknowns when it comes to these cuts are:

  1. Whether the ongoing 2013 appropriations negotiations will affect things (March 27 deadline on that) and
  2. If federal agencies will apply the cuts evenly within accounts, or tack the cuts onto specific programs.

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

  • Program: Women, Infants and Children (Supplemental Nutrition Program)
  • Original: $6.66b
  • Cut: $333m

Notes: When a state has a higher demand for WIC funds than it does funding for the program, it places women on a waiting list. There is no available information on how many states currently have waiting lists, but Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack estimated that the Sequester would add 600,000 people nationwide to the list.

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

  • Program: Career, Technical and Adult Education
  • Original: $1.74 b
  • Cut: $87 m
  • Program: Office for Civil Rights
  • Original: $103m
  • Cut: $5m

Notes: We add this because this office issued a letter to schools in 2010 with a blunt reminder that they needed to have a plan for addressing bullying, and that should include bullying based on sexual orientation.

Scrutiny of bullying, and school responses to it, might be part of any legislative product that comes in the wake of the Newtown, Conn. school shooting.

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

  • Program: Children and Families Services Programs
  • Original: $10.1b
  • Cut: $503m

Notes: This line pretty much encompasses all of the discretionary money for the Administration for Children and Families. The vast majority of it, about $8 billion, is Head Start funding.

So about $402 million of the $503 million cut will be to Head Start, assuming ACF applies the Sequester evenly. And it is worth noting that while most domestic funding was stagnant or declined during the fiscal standoffs of 2011 and 2012, Head Start saw an $800 million ascent.

The weird thing about the Head Start increases leading up to Sequestration is how the House factored in. Its spending bill for 2011 included a $1 billion whack to the program,

head is that the House pushed for a $1 billion whack of Head Start in fiscal 2011, but then came back in 2012 with a proposal to increase appropriations for the program by $540 million.

  • Program: Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Programs
  • Original: $400m
  • Cut: $20m

Notes: One major part of the Affordable Care Act for the youth services field: It took a modest little federal investment in home visitation programs, which pairs young or first-time mothers with one-on-one help, and made it a major program of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).

It is likely that this cut would only stunt the expansion of federally-funded visitation programs.

  • Program: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
  • Original: $3.4b
  • Cut: $168m
  • Program: Refugee and Entrant Assistance
  • Original: $900m
  • Cut: $45m

Notes: This is a division of the Administration for Children and Families, and the one that deals with youth who are in the United States without legal immigration status. That is a population that includes some children whose parents are involved in deportation hearings.

  • Program: Payments to States for the Child Care and Development Block Grant
  • Original: $2.3b
  • Cut: $115m
  • Program: Social Services Block Grant
  • Original: $2.3b
  • Cut: $117m
  • Program: Children and Families Services Programs
  • Original: $10.1b
  • Cut: $503m

Notes: This line pretty much encompasses all of the discretionary money for the Administration for Children and Families. The vast majority of it, about $8 billion, is Head Start funding.

So about $402 million of the $503 million cut will be to Head Start, assuming ACF applies the Sequester evenly. And it is worth noting that while most domestic funding was stagnant or declined during the fiscal standoffs of 2011 and 2012, Head Start saw an $800 million ascent.

The weird thing about the Head Start increases leading up to Sequestration is how the House factored in. Its spending bill for 2011 included a $1 billion whack to the program,

head is that the House pushed for a $1 billion whack of Head Start in fiscal 2011, but then came back in 2012 with a proposal to increase appropriations for the program by $540 million.

DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

  • Program: Immigration and Customs Enforcement
  • Original: $5.9b
  • Cut: $294

Notes: For ICE, less budget means less detainees at ICE facilities. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) believes they are letting too many immigrants out, a concern he aired after discovering that ICE planned to release 1,000 detainees per week until the end of March.

For family and youth services, the prospects have to be pretty high that many parents will be among the detainees who are sent back home in community supervision. As detailed in this report, detention of potential deportees creates all kinds of problems in current child welfare proceedings and creates new child welfare situations with American children left behind in deportation proceedings.

DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT

  • Program: Public Housing
  • Original: $4b
  • Cut: $199m
  • Program: Choice Neighborhoods
  • Original: $121m
  • Cut: $6m
  • Program: Community Development Fund
  • Original: $19.3b
  • Cut: $965m
  • Program: Homeless Assistance
  • Original: $1.9b
  • Cut: $96m

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

  • Program: Juvenile Justice
  • Original: $255m
  • Cut: $13m

Notes: There will be great interest on the part of advocates and field leaders in what gets cut from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. One option, of course, is that all of OJJDP’s programs get a proportional haircut to account for the $13 million.

But OJJDP’s budget has been gutted in recent years, and it has not been proportional. Funding for juvenile justice programs have taken most of the cut, while the Mentoring account and funds for missing and exploited children have been protected.

  • Program: Research, Evaluation, Statistics
  • Original: $105m
  • Cut: $5m
  • Program: State/Local Law Enforcement
  • Original: $1.1b
  • Cut: $56m
  • Program: Community Oriented Policing Services
  • Original: $163m
  • Cut: $8m
  • Program: Violence Against Women
  • Original: $400m
  • Cut: $20m

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

  • Program: Training and Employment Services
  • Original: $3.4b
  • Cut: $168m
  • Program: Job Corps
  • Original: $1.7b
  • Cut: $86m

INDEPENDENT

  • Program: Corporation for National and Community Service
  • Original: $755m Operating; $213m National Trust
  • Cut: $38m; $11m

Notes: Nonprofit Quarterly’s Rick Cohen, relying on a Tweet from Voices for Service President AnnMaura Connolly, suggested that about 4,200 AmeriCorps positions would be eliminated as a result of the Sequester. Astutely, Cohen also points out that there is a larger impact from that than simply the reduced number of young people being incentivized to work in communities.

AmeriCorps is a “program widely used by a diverse array of national and local nonprofits from many fields of activity,” Cohen writes. And that is the second impact of a cut to it: the reduction in off-payroll staff who keep the ranks full at many youth and family-serving organizations.

The $11 million hit to the national trust, which funds the educational stipends to AmeriCorps volunteers, is significant in that there is some speculation that the trust already lacks the reserves to pay for all it has promised.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

John Kelly
About John Kelly 1097 Articles
John Kelly is editor-in-chief of The Chronicle of Social Change.