White House details sequester’s impact in Connecticut

The White House released a state-by-state report Sunday that shows how sequestration, or looming automatic cuts to the federal budget, would affect Connecticut.

The report says the $85 billion reduction to the federal budget, half of that cut to the Pentagon, would mean a reduction of $8.7 million in federal aid to Connecticut’s schools and a loss of 120 teachers and teacher’s aides.

The report also said 500 pre-school children would be taken off the Head Start program in the state and 3,000 civilian Defense Department employees in Connecticut would be furloughed, or forced to go on leave without pay.

According to the White House, reductions in federal programs would also:

— Cancel repairs on the USS Providence, which would have been done in the Navy’s submarine base in Groton.

— Strip Connecticut’s Army National Guard of $1.6 million;

— Cut financial aid to about 550 Connecticut college students. Another 470 would lose the ability to register for work-study programs.

— Cut $6.3 million from special education, resulting in a loss of 80 teachers and aides who work with children with disabilities.

— Eliminate $13 million budgeted to demolish two buildings at the Naval Submarine Base.

If Congress does not act to stop them, the budget cuts would take effect Friday, March 1.

As the clock ticks toward that deadline, President Obama has become more active in calling attention to the effects of a sequester.

But many Republicans say Obama and congressional Democrats are fear mongering and that the average American won’t feel the cuts because they are modest, about 10 percent of an agency’s budget — and would be spread over a seven-month period.