Everyone should learn about the sequestration cuts; they impact us all

There are so many music and entertainment tidbits I want to share with you. I was thinking about all of them this morning. But there is something far more pressing I need to get off my chest. It may or may not mean anything to the readers on scrink.com but it has to be said and I very much hope you read it, understand it and share it.

If I had an opportunity to be in Washington, DC this week while higher ups discuss the sequestration I would love to be able to walk in a crowded room of legislators and give them a piece of my mind. Put a face on one of the people they are hurting with their slowness to act and narrow minds.I may not be eloquent, I may literally shake when I speak in front of groups, but I’m real and I’m passionate and the robots in DC need to see more people like me, they need to hear what we have to say.

Do you know what the word sequester means?

Verb: Isolate or hide away (someone or something).

That’s an ugly word and the sequestration will have devastating effects on our country. Is it true what the Washington Post reported just this morning? “Just one in four Americans are following the debate over the $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts set to kick in on Friday very closely.” Really? Only one in four? Are we that caught up in our own lives that we are so oblivious to the bomb about to drop on our country?

One manWho am I and why does it matter? Not only am I a full-time employee at a University but I am also a student. Working full-time to help the University, going to class in the middle of it all and then going home to be with my family (husband and three children). I represent a growing population of working parents who are trying to make things better for their family. I understand my associate’s degree just isn’t going to cut it if I want a higher paying job. I decided last year to go back to school and complete my four-year degree. Educating myself will help me to become a better employee, a better parent and a strong member of my community.

Are we not cognizant of the fact that more people need a higher education in order to get a better paying job and therefore become someone who can help to repair the economy? Truly, the need to increase the federal investment in education has never been greater. To me this is an obvious fact and I do not understand how that can be debatable.

I know, specifically the College I work for does an amazing amount of research, we work across the State of Delaware and are considered a Land Grant University. Sequestration will cut our funding immensely and we have already faced tough cuts leading up to this point. Consider the effects of those who rely on federal grants from programs like the National Institute of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Energy for example, to do groundbreaking research. Sequestration would mean a cut of $2.4 billion in National Institute of Health-funded research alone (according to ReseachAmerica.) The University of Delaware stands to lose at least $5.5M in sponsored research expenditures.

And just how are students and their families supposed to afford higher education with sequestration dealing such a blow to federal aid? Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants will be cut 8.2%, I read on educationvotes.nea.org just how the cut to Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants might impact our country. “In New York alone, that would mean 6,500 students could lose work-study assistance and 7,000 could lose their opportunity grants.”

TRIO and GEAR UP, two programs that prepare low-income students for college, saying that the programs could lose $90 million if sequestration goes into effect, eliminating services to more than 100,000 students.

A report from the National Education Association estimates the total cuts to pre-kindergarten, K-12, and postsecondary education budgets next year will range from $4.5-$4.8 billion. Close to 15,000 special education teachers could lose their jobs under sequestration. These are just some of the cuts to our education system in America. I don’t have the time or space to explain all of them.

Everyone needs to be aware and needs to understand these are not fake numbers, they are not scare tactics and they very much need to be taken seriously.

Sequestration cuts are going to impact far more than just higher education, but I am firm in my belief that continuing to cut funding for Universities and Colleges will branch out into the lives of future students, their families; all they offer now and all they will continue to offer after graduating. Please keep this in mind and speak up. I cannot begin to explain to you just how important it is to tell your Senator and Representative that they need to step up and take action.

Please also note that this is NOT the time to point fingers, cast blame or trash talk… any action should should a positive one. Offer suggestions not criticisms. If we want to stop sequestration we all need to put our minds together and come up with better solutions, we cannot do that if people close their minds and choose to bicker instead.

“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.”

― Edward Everett Hale

Please check out this link for videos of researchers in higher education who can tell you what they are working on and why the federal funding is so very valuable:

http://www.scienceworksforus.org/economy/america-s-research-community-speaks-out

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