WASHINGTON -- Loose ends and thorny partisan issues that have long dogged attempts to move forward on education await the next Congress as President Barack Obama's second term begins.
Soaring campaign-year aspirations to close the achievement gap and boost college graduation rates to the highest in the world may have to fall back to earth – at least temporarily – as lawmakers and Obama tackle a number of gritty funding-related issues that just can't wait.
First up is sequestration, the automatic, government-wide spending cuts set to knock out 8.2 percent of the funding to almost all of the Education Department's programs – unless Congress acts before the end of the year to avert the cuts.
Programs intended to reduce educational inequities will take a hit of $1.3 billion, according to the White House's Office of Management and Budget. Special education, already funded far below the levels Congress originally promised, will be slashed by more than $1 billion. Most of the reductions won't take effect until next fall, when the 2013-14 school year starts, but Impact Aid, which helps districts that lose revenue due to local tax-exempt federal property, would be cut immediately.
Right, I don't get it either. I think EVERY entity should be evaluated for cuts, but what I don't get is the hard lines against making any cuts within medicare/medicaid, yet the ease of the apparent decision to move forward with cuts to education.
EVERYTHING should be on the table, and EVERYTHING should be evaluated from scratch to determine cuts, rather than moving forward with the thoughts of the last term.
Start over, look at everything, and then decide where cuts will be made. NO ONE...not the president, or ANY member of Congress (red or blue) should have these preconceived notions. It's nuts. We're in the economic toilet, I just don't understand why these issues "can't wait"?
Nothing good comes of sequestration. Congress SHOULD act...stop this, and reevaluate asap.
I remember my early education, the elementary school years. Everything was provided. Pencils, paper, text books, crayons, art supplies.... all of that was provided, and today is another story. (I'm okay with providing the things necessary for my children's education. Just had to buy a "scientific calculator" to the tune of $100 bucks..... and it damn well better make it through the year!!!!!) That was an evolution of sorts that had to save the education system all kinds of money.
Like you said, start over. Take a good look at everything education, and see where we can trim the fat. I have no clue as to where to make some cuts, but get the damned educators involved and ask them.
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