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CTE Policy Watch

Congress Fails to Reverse Sequestration



By: Mitch

Yesterday, the Senate voted on two pieces of legislation that would replace the automatic, across-the-board sequestration cuts with alternative deficit reduction plans. Sequestration will officially go into effect at 11:59p.m. Today, Friday, March 1. Senate Republicans and Democrats both put forward competing bills in a last-ditch attempt to prevent the sequester. Both measures were defeated along party lines, ensuring that sequestration will be unavoidable.

The Republican plan (S. 16) would have granted the president freedom to redistribute the $85 billion in cuts among defense and non-defense discretionary programs—eliminating the across-the-board application of cuts to nearly every federal program— but would not have included any new revenue. By contrast, the Democratic plan (S. 338) sought to replace the sequester with a combination of targeted cuts and increased revenue. With both parties working on very different alternative plans, neither bill had any real chance of fixing the problem before the Friday deadline.

It is estimated that sequestration will result in a 5 percent reduction to discretionary funding in the current fiscal year. For Perkins specifically, this will mean $56 million less in funds for community colleges, area CTE centers and high school CTE programs. One bright spot for CTE funding, the cut will be applied to a Perkins allocation that will not be issued to states until July for the 2013-14 school year. While many areas of the federal budget will feel the effects of the sequester right away, Congress and the Administration still have a chance to reach a balanced solution before this indiscriminate cut can do irreparable harm to essential Perkins funds.

Washington must set aside partisan bickering and consider the impact on students, job seekers, educators and the economy. This chart shows just how much your state stands to lose in Perkins funding as a result of sequestration. Tell Congress that it’s time to get to work on a real solution that protects funding for CTE!   

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Administration’s Budget Proposal Restores Sequester Cut to CTE Funding but Still Falls Short of Need

Earlier today, the Obama Administration released its budget proposal for FY 2014. This document, normally released in February but delayed due to the other fiscal issues in play this spring, outlines the Administration's spending priorities for the coming year.

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!


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