All eyes are now on the debt ceiling discussions. You can follow the big picture debate on the news; they are discussing revenues and spending. In the category of spending we are in the area of domestic discretionary spending. This was the general area that was cut in the funding debates for FY 11 this winter and spring.
Now the discussions are working on where cuts will come from, generally speaking the president is in favor of not cutting education, but the overall levels on the table will mean that there will be cuts to education – somewhere. In addition, the House appropriations measure has allocated 18% less for the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. And, their balanced budget amendment is proposing to roll back the percent of spending by the government to 18% of GDP. This is what was in 1964.
In reauthorization news, the Senate education committee postponed their markup of the Workforce Investment Act to mid-July. This means that getting an ESEA bill this year is becoming less likely. The House education committee is hoping to move one more of their five bills, the one they would like to move is their flexibility proposal, which is being introduced today. (Linked below is a summary from the committee.) The fourth measure will be a teacher bill. It is expected in September.
The idea of Secretary Duncan to move with a de-facto reauthorization through the use of waivers is getting more congressional criticism. The House education chair, Chairman Kline (R-MN) issued a press release saying that this was not within his authority to change specific requirements in the statute.
State and Local Funding Flexibility Bill Summary