Federal spending cuts: 'Am I going to be that student left out?'

Federal spending cuts: 'Am I going to be that student left out?'
YAKIMA, Wash. -- The Yakima Valley Community College is one of many local agencies bracing for the fallout from automatic federal spending cuts.

Tutoring, counseling and assistance with textbooks; freshman Steven Mora gets that helping hand from the federal TRIO program.

"Sometimes students have trouble and TRIO helps deal with that," said Mora.

Mora is one of nearly 200 who get that help from the program that targets disadvantaged students. Students, who might be disabled, have low-incomes or are the first in their family to go to college.

"These are the students that are really likely to succeed because of the TRIO grant," said Yakima Valley Community College President Linda Kaminski.

Now, some of that is in doubt. Kaminski anticipates a 5-percent cut in TRIO money.

YVCC's federal work study program, upward bound high school outreach program and the federal Perkins grant could all take hits.

At least $71,000 dollars might be lost.

"What is the real impact of all this?" KIMA asked.

"Well, it's always, no matter where the cuts come from and how big or small, it affects services and it affects classes," said Kaminski. "Because that's what we do."

The Perkins funding heavily supports vocational programs like dental and nursing.

"Perkins has always been our lifesaver," Kaminski said.

YVCC is no stranger to cuts. With less money coming in from the state, the community college has relied more on federal funding.

Money that's also becoming harder to come by.

"We are turning away kids and have been for a while," said Kaminski.

Students like Steven worry he could be next.

"Am I going to be that student left out?" Mora said.

YVCC said there's not much light at the end of the tunnel.

"We may have more state cuts as a result of the federal cuts that state gets," Kaminski said.

That could mean less financial aid and fewer classes getting students like Steven ready for the working world.

Administrators say the Perkins money supports some faculty positions. However, YVCC hasn't discussed whether there could be any layoffs from the cuts.