Education Funding

Budget Measure’s Education Cuts Stinging

By Nirvi Shah — November 01, 2011 1 min read

When Congress passed a short-term budget measure that expires Nov. 18, the debate offered little sign of the bill’s potential long-term effects on education spending—although states and school districts noticed the impact right away.

Spending for four programs—special education, Title I aid for disadvantaged students, teacher quality, and career and technical education—was cut for the current school year, presumably well after most states and districts had spending plans for the year in place.

“The states have had the rug pulled out from under them,” said Lindsay Jones, the senior director of policy and advocacy services for the Washington-based Council for Exceptional Children.

The cuts total $329 million, the largest chunks of which are $163 million for Title I and $129 million for special education. Because of the way the current year’s continuing resolution was written, only federal programs that get advance appropriations were affected.

The impression special education advocates, including Ms. Jones, have is that Congress’ action was inadvertent. They point to the U.S. Senate’s spending proposal for the 2012 fiscal year, which would keep special education spending level, and the House proposal that would boost spending by $1.2 billion, albeit by cutting other education programs.

In all, the reductions for the rest of this fiscal year represent a 1.5 percent decrease for each of the four programs being cut. Should spending not be returned to the level it was before the decrease, the gap could grow significantly over time if funding is kept level for the 2012 fiscal year, since “level” will be a reduction. In a letter to House and Senate education committee leaders, the Committee for Education Funding, a Washington-based advocacy group, pressed Congress to take action on both fronts.

“Schools had been anticipating the use of these funds as they had been included in an earlier allocation notification,” the letter says. “We also urge that in the unfortunate event that this cut is not restored, that it not result in the reduction in the level of advanced appropriations provided in the fy 2012 bill ... to avoid permanently lowering the baseline level of funding.”

A version of this article appeared in the November 02, 2011 edition of Education Week as Budget Resolution Delivers Curveball To States, Districts

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Classroom Technology Webinar
Educator-Driven EdTech Design: Help Shape the Future of Classroom Technology
Join us for a collaborative workshop where you will get a live demo of GoGuardian Teacher, including seamless new integrations with Google Classroom, and participate in an interactive design exercise building a feature based on
Content provided by GoGuardian
School & District Management Live Online Discussion A Seat at the Table With Education Week: What Did We Learn About Schooling Models This Year?
After a year of living with the pandemic, what schooling models might we turn to as we look ahead to improve the student learning experience? Could year-round schooling be one of them? What about online
School & District Management Webinar What's Ahead for Hybrid Learning: Putting Best Practices in Motion
It’s safe to say hybrid learning—a mix of in-person and remote instruction that evolved quickly during the pandemic—is probably here to stay in K-12 education to some extent. That is the case even though increasing

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Funding Biden Infrastructure Plan Calls for $100 Billion for School Construction, Upgrades
President Joe Biden's $2 trillion American Jobs Plan would also fund replacement of lead pipes and expand broadband internet access.
4 min read
President-elect Joe Biden speaks at The Queen Theater on Dec. 29, 2020, in Wilmington, Del.
President-elect Joe Biden speaks at The Queen Theater on Dec. 29, 2020, in Wilmington, Del.
Andrew Harnik/AP
Education Funding Miguel Cardona Releases $912 Million for Puerto Rico's Schools, Easing Trump Restrictions
Puerto Rico has regained access to hundreds of millions of dollars for education to address the fallout of COVID-19 and other needs.
2 min read
Students arrive at the Ramon Marin Sola primary school for the first time in nearly a year amid the COVID-19 pandemic as some public schools reopen in San Juan, Puerto Rico on March 10, 2021.
Students arrive at the Ramon Marin Sola primary school for the first time in nearly a year amid the COVID-19 pandemic as some public schools reopen in San Juan, Puerto Rico on March 10.
Danica Coto/AP
Education Funding School Budgets: Why They're Not As Bad As Predicted
Revenue projections are up, but districts aren't out of the woods. Seven questions answered about the evolving landscape for budgets.
11 min read
Image shows a businessman searching for new revenue in unchartered waters standing on a compass among several waves.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Education Funding COVID-19 Aid Package Protects Funding for Students in Poverty, But Could Challenge Schools
"Maintenance of equity" mandates aim to avoid cuts by states and districts that hurt disadvantaged students more than others.
8 min read
Image of money in a puzzle shape.
simoncarter/iStock/Getty