Friday, November 16, 2012

What the ‘fiscal cliff’ means for public schools

What the ‘fiscal cliff’ means for public schools:

What the fiscal cliff' means for public schools

Here are some facts about how public schools across the country could be affected if President Obama and Congress don't reach some agreement on solving the nation's debt problem by Jan. 1 and the country goes over "the fiscal cliff" and "sequestration" takes effect.
What, exactly, does that mean? It means that in the absence of a timely compromise, automatic federal budget cuts totaling $1.2 trillion will start on Jan. 2, 2013, and end seven years later. The cuts will be divided evenly between defense spending (not including wars U.S. troops are fighting) and discretionary domestic spending, not including entitlements like Social Security and Medicaid, but affecting the Department of Education and other agencies. (If you want to know why this is happening, read this.)
Education programs now collectively make up less than 1 percent of the federal budget. Here are some things to know about how sequestration could affect public schools:
* Federal cuts to education could amount to nearly $5 billion, according to an analysis by the American Association of School Administrators, which would cause class sizes to be increased, programs reduced, services eliminated and jobs lost.That's an 8.2 percent cut, according to the National School Boards Association. ( Pages 60-64 of this Office of Management and Budget report details sequestration as it relates