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Federal Budget Sequester Could Cut $88M From California Schools

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — The White House has been warning of dire consequences for California if automatic "sequester" cuts in federal spending take effect, as scheduled, on Friday, March 1st.

If the cuts go through, $85 billion would be slashed from the federal budget. About $88 million for California schools would be cut; or the money for almost 2,000 teachers and Head Start programs. It would take more than $3 billion from state military spending. Services in Yosemite would also be affected and the University of California could lose about $250 million federal dollars.

Jason Furman, deputy director of the White House National Economic Council, said many cuts would be phased in, but some would be felt immediately.

Sequester Could Cut $88M From California Schools

"Unemployment insurance checks for example. Those get cut by about 10 percent for people on long-term unemployment insurance right away," said Furman.

At San Jose State University, spokeswoman Pat Lopes Harris said about a hundred students would lose either their work-study jobs or the federal supplemental grants that help the neediest kids go to college.

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"Their families cannot provide a dime for their college education. It's what they need to pay for books, perhaps food, so when this funding doesn't come through it can be difficult," Harris said.

Gov. Jerry Brown skipped a White House meeting with governors to discuss the cuts. But Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, a Republican, said Monday the country should be able to manage a 2.5 percent cut in federal spending.

"The President needs to stop campaigning, stop trying to scare the American people [and] stop trying to scare states," Jindal said.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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