'Sequester' Impact Proves Tough to Track
As Congress shifts focus to next year’s spending bills, education advocates are getting ready to renew their push against the across-the-board funding cuts known as “sequestration.” But the fallout from the cuts, which trimmed roughly 5 percent from federal K-12 funding overall this year, is often hard to illustrate or quantify, even for seasoned number-crunchers.
The sequestration cuts—which were put in place for virtually all federal agencies in 2011 to force a long-term budget agreement—are hitting most districts at the start of this coming school year. While some Head Start early-childhood programs already have had to make painful choices , sequestration’s impact on K-12 education in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30 is very uneven around the country.
“I thought by now we’d start to hear feedback from school districts and states,” said Michael Griffith, a school finance consultant for the Education Commission of the States in Denver. Mr. Griffith, who travels around the country talking to state and district officials about fiscal issues, hasn’t heard nearly as much about sequestration this summer as he thought he would. “At no point did [state and district officials] ever bring up the issue. If I brought up the issue, I got met with a shrug, basically. It...
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