Shutdown's Impact on Schools Limited for Now
Long-range concern hinges on debt issue
The start of the first shutdown of the federal government in nearly two decades caused some anxiety for state and district education officials, but didn't interrupt business as usual for schools across the country, at least at first.
To be sure, there have been headaches, particularly for the federal Head Start pre-K program, with a handful of centers in several states closing entirely because of Congress' failure to come up with a budget deal before the 2013 federal fiscal year expired on Sept. 30. And the closure has slowed the pace of federal research, put a monkey wrench in state and federal collaboration on key K-12 issues—and turned the U.S. Department of Education's headquarters in Washington into a virtual ghost town, with more than 90 percent of the staff furloughed as of Oct. 1.
The fiscal impasse between congressional Republicans and the White House remained unresolved as of press time. Meanwhile, the federal government is slated to hit its borrowing limit in mid-October, and it's unclear whether a Congress that couldn't figure out a way to keep the government's doors open will be able to keep the nation from defaulting...
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