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Sequestration: Are Major Cuts to Education Around the Corner?


Phillip Lovell, Vice President of Federal Advocacy, Alliance for Excellent Education
Joel Packer, Executive Director, Committee for Education Funding
Tom Shelton, PhD, Superintendent, Fayette County Kentucky Public Schools (Lexington, KY)

As school districts across the country continue to grapple with budget shortfalls of their own, many are unaware of and unprepared to deal with federal education funding cuts that are scheduled to take effect on January 2, 2013.

Last year, the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, also known as the Supercommittee, failed to reach an agreement on how to reduce the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion. As a result, a process called sequestration, across-the-board spending cuts to nearly all government programs will take effect unless the U.S. Congress acts. If sequestration is implemented, it could have a tremendous and detrimental impact on early childhood,  K–12 and higher education, with far-reaching consequences at the state and local levels.

The Alliance for Excellent Education, Committee for Education Funding, and Coalition for a College- and Career-Ready America held a webinar on September 14, during which panelists discussed the impact of the federal budget debate on education. The webinar (1) provided an explanation of the overall budget process; (2) explained how sequestration would be implemented and its potential impact on early childhood, K–12 and higher education; and (3) discussed what advocates can do to discourage Congress from making major cuts to education programs. Panelists also addressed questions submitted by viewers from across the country.

Supplemental Materials

The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington, DC-based national policy and advocacy organization that works to improve national and federal policy so that all students can achieve at high academic levels and graduate from high school ready for success in college, work, and citizenship in the twenty-first century. For more information about the Alliance, visit

The Coalition for a College- and Career-Ready America (CCCRA) is a broad-based group of reform-minded community leaders committed to increasing U.S. K–12 student performance. The coalition seeks to provide concise, actionable information to local leaders committed to ensuring college and career readiness for all students and to create an efficient, value-add vehicle for members to gain information and perspective about major developments in education reform at the federal and national levels and the impact these developments have at the state and local levels.

Founded in 1969, the Committee for Education Funding (CEF) and its 98 member organizations have worked toward the common goal of achieving adequate federal support for the nation’s education system. Nonpartisan and nonprofit, CEF is America’s largest education coalition, reflecting the broad spectrum of the education community.

Categories: Economic Impacts, Education and the Economy, Federal Legislation

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