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Government Shutdown: What This Means for CTE


October 1, 2013


Government Shutdown: What This Means for CTE

The federal government has officially shut down for the first time in 17 years, as Congress is still unable to reach a resolution to continue funding government programs and operations in the new fiscal year.  So what will this shutdown mean for CTE?

In anticipation of a possible shutdown, federal agencies have already developed contingency plans to provide guidance on how the lapse in funding will affect personnel and programs within their jurisdiction. Of particular importance for the CTE community, the U.S. Department of Education has outlined its plan for operating under a temporary shutdown.  The department has said that $791 million in Perkins funds that are scheduled to be distributed to states on October 1 will not be disrupted. These federal Perkins dollars, along with funds available for Titles I and II of ESEA, and IDEA Part B State Grants, are advance funded from the FY 2013 budget, which was approved by Congress in March. Pell Grants and student loans for higher education will continue to be processed, but may be delayed because of staff furloughs.

Temporary personnel furloughs will be one of the most visible effects of the shutdown. Over 3,000 of the 4,225 employees at the Department of Education will be sent home. In addition to significant reductions in staffing, the department’s offices in Washington, D.C., as well as regional offices across the country, will be closed for the duration of the shutdown. State education agencies and school districts that are seeking technical assistance, guidance or have other official business with the department will have to wait until furloughed staff return to work.

At the U.S. Department of Labor, over 80 percent of employees are being sent home. The Employment and Training Administration, which oversees many federal job training programs, will be closed. However, Job Corps centers across-the-country will continue to offer education and training services to low-income youth.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will close its research facilities and will delay the distribution of grants to support research, education, and extension efforts. The federally reimbursable school breakfast and lunch programs for low-income students, which are administered by the USDA, will have enough carryover funds to continue to subsidize free-and reduce-price meals through October. 

The processing and payment of veterans education benefits for postsecondary education will continue, but the program will be suspended when available funding is exhausted at the end of the month.

All state and local government agencies will continue to operate normally. Continue to check the CTE Policy Watch blog for more shutdown updates. 

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