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Sequestration: Resources and New Information

The information surrounding the impact and logistics of sequestration is continually in flux. With little guidance from the Office of Management and Budget, a number of policy groups are speculating about what will happen in 2013. We also know that states and locals are bracing for the worst, and trying as best they can to prepare for an approximately 8 percent cut to federally funded programs. To help you better understand the potential impact of sequestration, we have pulled together a number of resources from various sources.

Based on estimates from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the National Education Association, an 8.4% cut to Perkins in FY13 would amount to a $94 million cut. A cut of this magnitude would bring funding down to 1999 levels at time when there are 2.5 million more students enrolled in CTE than there were in 1999. There is however, some good news. We had originally believed that sequestration would cut Perkins advance appropriations immediately on January 3, 2013, but the Department released a clarifying memo on Friday that read in part:

If Congress does not act to avoid sequestration, and assuming the 2013 appropriations for these four accounts are structured similarly to past appropriations (which they are under the pending House and Senate appropriations bills), the Department will take the sequester from funds that would become available in July 2013 for school year 2013-14, not from the 2012 advance appropriations available in October 2012. The amount of the reduction will be calculated by applying the sequester percentage (to be determined by the Office of Management and Budget) to the fiscal year 2013 budgetary resources from both the 2012 advance appropriations and the 2013 regular appropriations that are available for the four accounts. The calculated sequester amount will then get subtracted from the July 2013 funding. The net effect will be to cut the funding level for the programs in the four accounts with advance funding by the same percentage as all other programs, projects, and activities.

We also want to bring to your attention the results of a survey conducted by the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) on the impact of sequestration on schools. The overwhelming majority of respondents (90 percent) said that neither their state nor their district would be able to absorb or offset the sequestration cuts. Fifty-four percent said that they have built in the potential cuts to their 2012-2013 school year budgets. The areas that are most likely to be affected, according to survey respondents, are: professional development, after-school programs, laying off instructional staff, and increasing class size.

What would sequestration do to CTE in your state? As we go up on the Hill and advocate against cuts to Perkins, we need to be able to share your stories. Please send any impact data on an 8.4% cut to Nancy Conneely at nconneely@careertech.org

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