The Blog

"Sequestration" Cuts are Hurting Students: Urge Congress to End Them and Boost School Funding

National Education Association President Dennis Van Roekel put it this way: “We continue to experience deep cuts to critical education programs, especially for low-income and students with special needs. We are America, and we are better than this.”

The NEA leader is referring to the political wrangling in Washington D.C. that has stalled efforts to replace school-bludgeoning “sequestration” cuts with what our schools desperately need: more funding for key educational programs, especially programs aimed at our students of greatest need.

Both the NEA president and the leader of the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) are urging Congress to act before a Dec. 13 deadline.

To help make the point, the AASA has just released a new study, “Unequal Pain: Federal Public Education Revenues, Federal Education Cuts & the Impact on Public Schools,” which spells out just how the cuts are harming students.

Recent analysis from AASA and NEA highlights the stark reality:

  • Thirty-five point-five percent of schools have a federal share of 11.9% or more.
  • More than one-quarter of schools (25.2 percent) had an operating budget in which federal revenues represented more than 15 percent of total budget revenues.
  • More than six percent of schools had an operating budget where federal funds represented one-quarter (25 percent) or more of total budget revenues.
  • More than half of local educational agencies (LEAs) in 21 states had operating budgets where the federal share of revenues was above the national average (11.8 percent).
  • More than half of LEAs in 14 states had operating budgets where the federal share was more than 15 percent.
  • One out of every four students attends public schools in districts where 15-20 percent of total revenue is from federal sources.
  • One out of every six students attends public schools in districts where 5-15 percent of total revenue is from a single federal program (Title I).
  • One out of every ten school districts rely on federal revenue for 20-50 percent (or more) of their total revenue.

You can do something right now to help win the fight. Get in touch with your federal lawmakers -- U.S. Congressional representatives and U.S. Senators – and urge them to end the cuts that are ravaging our schools.

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