Cuts in Education“Cutting”, “freezing”, “shifting” are exhausted budgeting strategies used to deal with the spending cuts brought on by sequestration. Such stopgap measures can only last so long, administrators say, before cuts will be felt by everyone.
According to a survey of 541 districts across 48 states from the American Association of School Administrators, districts have dealt with the sequestration by slicing professional development (59% of districts), eliminating personnel (53%), increasing class size (48%), and deferring technology purchases (46%).
More long-term damage is also predicted. Since IDEA will not allow dramatic cuts in special education, districts will have to reallocate money from the general education budget to the special education budget to make up for sequestration shortfalls. Not only does this foster damaging competition for resources, this becomes a problem for the future. Under the “maintenance of effort” clause, this increased level of local spending has to be maintained in future years, even if the federal dollars start flowing again.
Bottom line? Districts need to figure out a way to meet the regulatory and educational demands of their special education community while balancing the economic reality of the sequester cuts.