Advocates Raise Concerns on Looming 'Sequester' Cuts
Cuts' fate up to Congress
Education advocates and the Obama administration are anxiously eyeing a series of across-the-board cuts set to hit a broad swath of federal domestic and military spending programs early next year, unless a sharply divided Congress can agree on a long-term plan to put the nation’s fiscal house in order.
Most education lobbyists expect such a deal will prove elusive in the months leading up to the November elections, making the prospect of looming cuts in education and other programs a potentially volatile issue in the congressional and presidential campaigns. Congress then might have to scramble to reach an agreement on averting the cuts in a lame-duck session right after the elections.
For now, the administration is making the case that lawmakers should spare education from cuts that the Congressional Budget Office has estimated at up to 7.8 percent of the U.S. Department of Education’s budget, which is $68.1 billion in fiscal 2012. The proposed cuts would “put at risk all that we’ve accomplished in education and weaken programs that help children,” Secretary of Education Arne Duncan told lawmakers at a recent hearing of the Senate panel...
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