Congress Makes Temporary Budget Cuts to Education Programs
Fears loom over educators’ heads this week as the possibility of permanent budget cuts to several education programs comes closer to a reality. Over a dozen of high-profile education programs were cut from a stopgap spending measure after President Obama signed a two-week funding bill on March 2.
The bill, which extends to March 18, plans to keep the government operating while Republicans and Democrats try to come to an agreement in spending for the rest of the fiscal year.
Programs, like Teach for America, Even Start and Striving Readers, took heavy blows to their funding after Republicans insisted on cutting the Department of Education’s budget by nearly $750 million. The department’s most current arbitrary budget sits at $46.8 billion.
Teach for America, a program designed to offer equal educational opportunities to low-income sectors, lost $18 million in subsidies.
Literacy programs took the largest blow in funding. Striving Readers lost their complete budget of $250 million, while The Even Start family-literacy effort suffered a loss of its $67 million allotment.
Though these cuts are only meant to be provisional, it’s unlikely that the funds will be reinstated any time soon. This is due to the efforts of the GOP-controlled House of Representatives to trim down the federal government as a whole.
“The president … needs to take much more than a scalpel to the Department of Education’s budget—there’s room to take an ax,” said Lindsey Burke, a policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation.
Educators fear the worst. With these budget cuts, they’re unsure about the limited spending that lingers in the near future.
Susan Frost, who was a senior adviser in the Education Department during the Clinton administration, said: “I think we’re now into a very high-level political set of decisions by everyone, and that doesn’t necessarily result in the best decisions for children.”
Via Education Week
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