K-12 Education Advocates Lobby to Avert Fiscal Cliff
The coming fiscal cliff—the looming conversion of tax-break expirations and across-the-board budget cuts aimed at prodding a long-term federal deficit fix—has education advocates in Washington on overdrive.
The number-one question keeping organizations that represent school districts and educators up at night is whether Congress will be able to reach an agreement to head off "sequestration," a series of trigger budget cuts that will hit just about every federally funded education program on Jan. 2, unless Congress averts them by crafting a long-term agreement to curb the deficit. A number of K-12 programs, including Title I grants for districts and special education would be cut by 8.2 percent, although most districts wouldn't feel the squeeze until next fall.
But there are many other issues in the fiscal-cliff debate that could affect K-12 schools, as lawmakers consider tax policy and changes to entitlement programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. Both President Barack Obama and U.S. Rep. John A. Boehner, the speaker of the House, have put forward plans to avert the cliff. Mr. Obama's proposal closely mirrors his fiscal 2013 budget request, which provided a modest boost for the U.S. Department of Education, while Mr. Boehner has called for $300 billion in new spending cuts, without specifics on K-12. Mr. Boehner's plan was rejected by the White...
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