Capital Digest

September 12, 1990 1 min read

Fewer children would participate in Chapter 1 programs in 1991 than in 1990, 1.4 million students would lose Pell Grants averaging $1,000, and the amount of money given to states for education of the handicapped would drop by a third, if a full sequester under the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings deficit-reduction law takes effect this fall, according to the Education Department.

The figures come from a report sent to the Office of Management and Budget that attempts to quantify the extent of the possible cuts under the law, which mandates automatic spending reductions in order to bring the federal budget deficit down to $64 billion in fiscal 1991. The department’s report estimated that its fiscal 1991 budget authority would drop $6.4 billion, from $25.7 billion to $19.3 billion, under a full sequester.

Because the department used August budget estimates, however, the effects of a full sequester would probably be greater than that, since projections of the size of the deficit have risen since then. By October, the department could have to cut $8.1 billion, according to OMB.

Agencies throughout the federal government are preparing for a possible October sequester if Congressional and White House negotiators are unable to agree on a budget package. Observers say it is unlikely, however, that the Congress and President Bush will allow the full ,cuts to take place.

The report also projects that state vocational-rehabilitation programs would lose $68.6 million under a full sequester, while drug-free-schools programs would lose $179 million and state adult-education programs would serve 1.1 million fewer stu dents.

A reported drop in the percentage of young people who have used cocaine is “most encouraging,” Director of National Drug-Control Policy William J. Bennett said last week on the first anniversary of President Bush’s anti-drug initiative.3

Mr. Bennett cited a federally funded survey that shows a drop in the percentage of high-school seniors who have ever used cocaine--from a high of 17 percent in 1985 to 10 percent last year--as the most impressive achievement of the “war on drugs” to date.

“There is a change in attitude among young people,” he said. “This is encouraging.”

Vice President Dan Quayle last week reiterated the Bush Administration’s support for pa rental choice in a speech to the Na tional Association of Towns and Townships.

A version of this article appeared in the September 12, 1990 edition of Education Week as Capital Digest