Budget Deal Would Reverse Sequestration Education Cuts

Alyson Klein writes at the Education Week (12/12) “Politics K-12” blog that under the bipartisan budget plan announced by congressional negotiators on Tuesday, districts “would get some relief” from Federal budget sequestration, noting that the measure “would roll back most of the so-called sequester cuts for the next two years.” She explains that the move would restore some 87% of the discretionary spending, a broad category that includes education programs. The piece quotes Mary Kusler, director of government relations for the National Education Association, saying, “We believe that this is an important first step in relieving some of the horrible cuts that have impacted schools across the country. In our opinion, we would have liked to see [the agreement] go further.”

        Politico (12/12, Nelson) also covers this story in its “Morning Education” feature, noting that according to Joel Packer of the Committee for Education Funding, “spending for the second year of the two-year agreement is virtually the same as the first, so in 2015, education would essentially be flat-funded.”

        Special Education Programs Could Benefit. US News & World Report (12/12, Bidwell) reports that some education observers say the budget deal “could be a step in the right direction” toward offsetting Federal and local special education cuts that have contributed “to higher class sizes, larger case loads and fewer resources.” The piece notes that a recent survey of special-needs educators found that “nearly three-quarters at least partially blamed” sequestration.