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Obama Calls for Short-Term Fix to Sequestration


February 6, 2013

By: Mitch

At a press conference in the White House yesterday, President Obama called on Congress to act quickly to delay the automatic, across-the-board cuts through sequestration. If Congress and the Administration are unable to reach an agreement to fix the sequester before March 1, federal funding for Perkins—along with most other education and workforce training programs—will be drastically reduced; impacting the 2013-14 school year. The president put forward few specifics on what he would like to see included in a plan to avert the sequester, beyond echoing previous demands for a “balanced approach” that consists of both increased revenue and targeted cuts.

With the deadline for sequestration fast approaching, President Obama pushed for a short-term delay that might provide more time to create a permanent fix to the sequester. He argued that allowing sequestration to go into effect would cause greater economy instability and would devastate important domestic and national security programs. “Deep, indiscriminate cuts to things like education and training, energy and national security will cost us jobs, and it will slow down our recovery.  It’s not the right thing to do for the economy,” said Obama.

Congressional Republicans have resisted the idea of using any new tax revenue and argued for greater cuts in discretionary and mandatory funding to reduce the debt. “We believe there is a better way to reduce the deficit, but Americans do not support sacrificing real spending cuts for more tax hikes,” said House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH). He added, “The president’s sequester should be replaced with spending cuts and reforms that will start us on the path to balancing the budget in 10 years.”

CTE continues to be under threat of drastic cuts. Tell Congress that we need action now! Tell them that Perkins can’t afford any more cuts!

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Duncan Talks 2014 Budget on Capitol Hill

8/12/13 By: Mitch Following the release of President Obama’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 budget request on Wednesday, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan appeared before the House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee to defend the Administration’s plan for funding education in the coming fiscal year. In the budget proposal, the Administration suggests funding Perkins at 1.1 billion, equal to FY 2012 levels, before sequestration. Additionally, the budget proposes a $10 million increase for the National Programs line item which is designated for a new dual enrollment program focused on career preparation. Despite requests for an overall increase in education funding, the Administration's budget does not prioritize additional investments to meet the growing needs in CTE. During the hearing on Thursday, both Republican and Democratic members of the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations subcommittee expressed apprehensions about the Administration’s strong focus on increasing funding for competitive grant programs. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), ranking-member of the subcommittee, talked about her concern for formula-funded education programs, like Perkins, which largely did not receive increases in funding. “The emphasis on competitive funding I find troubling,” said DeLauro. “What is need is steady secure funding for all of our schools to move toward improvement.” Federal investments in education must be directed to those areas with a proven track record of success that provide all students with equal access and opportunity. Members of the subcommittee will now begin to draft an appropriations bill that will fund Perkins in FY 2014. Let Congress know that it is time to make investing in Perkins a priority!

Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) Announces Career Counseling Bill

In a press release today, Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) announced a bill designed to improve school counseling resources across the country. The Counseling for Career Choice Act of 2013 provides increased support and professional development for school counselors to have the resources and materials to help students make educated decisions about their future, whether it is a four-year university, career and technical education program in high school or other option.


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