Congress Fails to Reverse Sequestration
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
Congress that it’s time to get to work on a real solution that protects
funding for CTE!
CTE Policy Watch Blog
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
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
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