Perhaps the cuts weren’t quite as bad as U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan predicted, but sequestration is still hitting classrooms as districts begin the 2013-14 school year.
According to a new survey from the American Association of School Administrators, districts are dealing with automatic, across-the-board trigger cuts to federal education funding by slicing professional development (59 percent of districts), eliminating personnel (53 percent), increasing class size (48 percent), and deferring technology purchases (46 percent).
The data come from 541 respondents from 48 states, questioned this summer.
The professional-development cuts come at a critical time for K-12 education, as states and districts implement the Common Core State Standards and prepare for new tests aligned to those tougher standards. All told, the cuts amount to about 5 percent of federal education funds.
A version of this article appeared in the August 21, 2013 edition of Education Week as Sequestration Prompts Districts to Cut Budgets