Sequester Impact Report: District Cuts Include Occupational Education
August 16, 2013
Sequester Impact Report: District Cuts Include Occupational
This week, AASA: The School Superintendents Association
released a new report about the effects of the across-the-board sequester cuts on school districts around the country. A
survey of 541 responses from 48 states yielded some interesting results on how districts
are dealing with reductions in federal funding, including Perkins, as the 2013-14 school year begins.
The report notes that the federal share of a school
district’s budget will vary. Those districts that receive a larger share of
federal funds—often in high-poverty areas or more rural parts of the country—will
see a bigger hole in their budgets as a result of cuts in federal funds. Though
the impacts of the cuts are not the same for all districts, 86 percent of those
surveyed by AASA reported that their districts will not be able to absorb the
cuts. These schools will have to make reductions in staff, services,
maintenance or find other saving in their shrinking budgets to offset the
reductions in funding.
Over half of the respondents (53 percent) indicated that
their districts have already been forced to incorporate a 5 percent reduction
(the amount of the across-the-board sequester cut) into their 2013-14 school
year budget. More alarmingly, 22 percent reported that their districts could
not build in a 5 percent cut for the upcoming school year because their budgets
are stretched too far already.
When asked specifically how sequester cuts would impact
their districts, over half (53 percent) of those surveyed reported teacher
layoffs or the elimination of teaching positions at their schools. Other highly
reported impacts of sequestration include fewer professional development
opportunities, increases in class size, deferring technology purchases and cuts
in non-instructional personnel. Reductions in elective course offerings and cut
backs in extra-curricular activities were reported by 19 percent of respondents,
while 8 percent indicated that “occupational education” courses would have to
be reduced as well.
How are cuts affecting your school? Is your
district experiencing teacher layoffs, reducing CTE course offerings, putting
off the purchasing of new equipment or reducing other services that benefit CTE
students? Help us to show the importance of funding CTE by sharing your story!