Partial Federal Shutdown Generates Financial Strain, Community Response

By Max Miracle, Copy Editor

This is the longest government shutdown in U.S. history.

Since December 22, 2018, nine of the 15 federal departments have been operating with limited funding. From NASA to the State Department, approximately 800,000 federal employees have either been sent home, furloughed, or deemed essential and ordered to keep working without compensation. Both groups of employees, many of which live in the Northern Virginia region, have been living without pay for more than a month.

Even though all these workers will most likely be compensated with back-pay once funding resumes, many have fallen back on savings and reduced expenses to make ends meet. These cutbacks have in turn placed strain on some local businesses.

The effects of the shutdown have been most drastic on the thousands of federal employees who live paycheck to paycheck. Without a financial safety net to fall back on, these workers have turned to community programs for support. These initiatives include one designed by FCPS to offer substitute teaching positions to furloughed employees, several of which have subbed here.

“There are many talented people in our community who work for the federal government,” said FCPS Superintendent Scott Brabrand. “We want to show support for federal employees who have been furloughed and may be looking for work.”