Education Advocates Unsure about Education Cuts by Congressional Budget Panel

Association of Educators
November 7, 2013 — 972 views  

Education lawyers are keeping a close watch on the Congressional Conference Committee because of the evident sequestration on educational institutions. Sequestration is the act of acquiring legal possession of various assets of institutions. There is a good chance that this will be one of the ways by which the committee plans to finance the deficit budget. Child and Family Service officials have stated that they have lost many slots for Head Start classrooms because of the direct cuts brought in.

The cuts have also caused various schools close to military bases and Native American reservations to let go of staff. The reason behind the cuts is the failure of the Congress to strike the $1.5 trillion deal that would ease spending for close to a decade. The new panel, which was formed last month, following the 16 day government shutdown, is being carefully watched by education advocates.

Previous Attempts at Removing Sequestration

Congress tried to remove the sequestration, but have failed due to another deal regarding the debt-ceiling. People are hoping for a change in legislation because of the difference between the Congress budget proposal and that of the Senate. The difference in labor, education, health and other such programs is $42 billion more than what is spent on Title I grants each year. Title I grants are dedicated to disadvantaged children, Head Start, and special education.

Committee Leaders Key to Decision-Making

Committee leaders include Senate Patty Murray and Republican Paul Ryan as chairwoman and chairman respectively. Murray is a former teacher and advocate for parents. She is against the sequestration because of the negative impact it has on education. Murray was recently seen at a Capitol Hill rally regarding the issue of Head Start cuts.

The House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan was running for vice president in 2012. Even during that time he took heat from pro-educational groups because of his budget proposal which tries to curb domestic spending and remove specifics on educational programs.

The work of the panel will help define the starting point for educators to make their argument. For this reason, it is important for education advocates to pay attention to the happenings in this aspect. There are quite a few districts where the cuts have not caused immediate lay-offs in schools and educational institutions. However, the decision is still pending and much discussion is surrounding it.

Association of Educators