States and towns across the country are grappling with difficult budgeting choices in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, which has drained the coffers of public spending, posing threats to public sector jobs, including those in education, healthcare, and infrastructure, reports the Council on Foreign Relations.

Budget cuts to the education system are a particularly risky venture, because, as the feature notes, “State and local governments contribute more than 90 percent of the money spent nationally on K–12 education, as well as provide substantial financing for the public university system, which graduates the majority of U.S. college students.”

Many states are still recovering from budget cuts associated with the Great Recession, circa 2007 – 2009.

States are hoping the federal government will step in to support their efforts to balance their budgets, a goal which would allow hundreds of thousands of public service employees to keep their jobs. Notes Michael Leachman, vice president for state fiscal policy at CBPP: “The federal government needs to step up to the plate and make sure that we don’t make the recession much worse by laying off a bunch more people and cutting spending in other ways.”

Read more about state budget crunches and the resulting cuts to education and other public services, and how the federal government can assist with recovery, here.