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Department of Education: No Sequestration Cuts for 2012-13 School Year

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July 26, 2012

Department of Education: No Sequestration Cuts for 2012-13 School Year

Recently the Department of Education provided some new information about the impact of budget sequestration on education programs, offering clarification on an issue that will directly affect funding for Perkins. To recap, the Budget Control Act of 2011 created the “Super Committee” of Members of Congress who were tasked with creating a plan to cut $1.2 trillion from the federal budget. Their failure to reach an agreement triggered a provision in the law, known as sequestration, which will institute an automatic across-the-board cut to all domestic discretionary programs, including Perkins by a certain percentage (not yet determined) beginning on January 2, 2013.  

A particular concern was how sequestration would impact education programs that receive advanced appropriations. Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 advance appropriations become available in October 2012 for 2012-13 school year. Because the across-the-board cuts under sequestration are suppose to be applied to funding available in FY 2013 (which also begins October 2012), it was assumed that there would be an immediate cut to those advanced funds once sequestration takes effect in January 2013. That raised the possibility of having cuts to Perkins and other important programs occur in the middle of the 2012-13 school year.   

However, the Department of Education announced that it will not implement the cuts in the 2012-13 school year. They will still apply sequestration cuts to the FY 2012 advanced appropriated funds, but will subtract that from the funds that are allocated in July 2013 (those funds will also be subject to a cut). For example, assuming the sequestration cut is 8.4 percent, the FY 2012 advanced funds for Perkins will be cut by $66.4 million. The next round of Perkins funds will come in July 2013 and will also be cut by 8.4 percent or $27.9 million. The result is that the funds available in July will be reduced by $94.3 million. Thought the total cut ends up being the same, only the 2013-14 school year will be impacted. A chart is available here.   

Regardless of how the cuts are spread out, they will still be devastating to Perkins and many other programs. The easiest way to deal with sequestration is for Congress to act now and stop the cuts from ever happening!

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