Federal funding for education faces significant across-the-board cuts of an estimated $4.1 billion on January 2, 2013 unless U.S. Congress takes action. The National School Boards Association (NSBA) is urging Congress to rescind the across-the-board cuts (sequestration) to education. Impact Aid would face cuts during this school year, and other education programs would face cuts beginning in July of 2013, affecting the 2013-2014 school districts’ budgets. See the U.S. Department of Education’s letter that details the timing. NSBA is encouraging school board members to contact their members of Congress, pass board resolutions, and send a letter to the editor about these drastic cuts to education.
Under the Budget Control Act of 2011 across-the-board cuts of 7.8 percent or more to education and other domestic programs will happen through a process called sequestration (the cancellation of budgetary resources), unless Congress intervenes.
Cuts would include:
- A 7.8 percent cut to programs such as Title I grants for disadvantaged students would mean a cut of more than $1 billion, affecting nearly two million students.
- Special education grants would be reduced by more than $900 million, impacting nearly 500,000 children with disabilities.
- English Language Acquisition grants would be cut by approximately $60 million, affecting an estimated 377,000 students.
- Sequestration’s budget cuts to these and other education programs would mean increased class sizes and less access to programs for children with special needs, as well as summer school, college counselors, early childhood education and after-school programming.
Most school districts have experienced significant budget cuts already in recent years, resulting in fewer course offerings, thousands of teacher and staff layoffs, four-day school weeks, loss of extracurricular activities, and reduced transportation services, for example. If further budget cuts from sequestration were to occur, several school districts would be forced to cut even more essential services over the long term.
As a school board member, utilize these talking points and background information and take a moment to customize this sample letter and send it to your senators and representative. Also consider customizing and adopting the sample board resolution, take the survey, and edit and send a letter to your local newspaper editor.
Please send NSBA a copy of your adopted resolutions on sequestration along with any published opinions that will help illustrate why Congress should reject sequestration and preserve funding for our schools.