Bi-partisan Budget Compromise Blunts 2014 Sequestration Effects on NABSE Members and Districts (posted 12/12/13)
For the first time in three years,Congress is poised to pass a budget. Senate Amendment(the bipartisan Budget Act(BBA of 2013 to HJ.Res.59.
The Deal includes for the purposes of the Senate only all of the reserve funds that were included in the Senate passed budget resolution. These funds are not impactful ,at this times,since they all require whatever is enacted to be paid for. But at the very least the following expresses some support for whatever is mentioned. The following reserve funds or interest to those of us in education:
- Section 304 deficit-neutral reserve funds for early childhood education (funding for prekindergarten, child care and home visiting programs)
- Section 310 Deficit- neutral reserve fund for higher education(funding for bills that make higher education more accessible and affordable which may include legislation to increase college enrollment and completion rates for low income students, or promote college savings)
- Section 312 deficit-neutral reserve funds for investments in our Nation's counties and school (provide for the reauthorization of the Secure Rural Schools and Community self-determination act of 2000 )Public Law 106-393 or make changes to Chapter 69 of title 31,United States code.31, United States code)
- Section 366 deficit-neutral reserve fund to support rural schools and districts (concerning the establishment of the office of Rural Education Policy within the Department of Education)
BBD includes allows continuation of existing advanced appropriations for programs(including Title I, ESEA,Title II,IDEA state grants and Career/Technical education State grants) but prevents any new advanced appropriations from starting or the current advanced.appropriations from increasing. This is not new language. The same language had been included in every budget resolution deal for several years and doesn't have any impact at all on our current funding. It protects those programs by preventing Congress and grandfathers both advanced appropriations in the prevents Congress from skirting the budget gaps by creating new or increasing current advanced funding levels.
As the Committee on Education funding posits in its support letter to Congress for the BBA - "It is not ideal since it fails to fully replace the remaining eight years of sequester cuts to education and other nondefensive discretionary(NDD) programs and only partially replaces the sequester cuts for fiscal years 2014 and, 2015, it is a positive step in the right direction."
NABSE is a member of CEF and supports the CEF letter to congress.
Education programs(exclusive of Pell Grants) were cut multiple times in the past two and a half years including $1.5 billion in combined cuts from the FY 2011 CR and the FY 2012 omnibus. In additional cuts, restrictions and limitations on interest subsidies for federal student loans and curtail eligibility for Pell grants resulted in college students contributing$5.6 billion out of their pockets to deficit reduction.
The sequester hit hard children of African descent in our schools as a result of the loss of Head start slots and Impact aid ... we cannot get those head start slots back.
Though there are still many budget problems that impact students of African descent, the sequester was like "a slowly growing cancer", as described by Steve Warren of the University of Kansas. The automatic across-the-board spending cuts known as the sequestration is blunted to some extent by this act.