Now that the results from the election are almost fully in, Congress and the Obama Administration must turn their attention to governing. What is the first order of business? The Fiscal Cliff. On December 31, 2012 unless the parties can agree several things will happen: unemployment benefits will expire for millions, payroll taxes will increase, the so-called “Bush Tax Cuts” will expire and sequestration will begin. Collectively, these fiscal austerity measures are being call the Fiscal Cliff and if the Administration and Congress don’t agree to fix them, we are certain to see cuts to education.
What’s Sequestration? An across the board indiscriminate 8% cut to all education programs and many health and defense programs set to being on January 2, 2013. Check out CEC’s Q&A and 1 pager for specifics.
While the U.S. Department of Education has stated that it will delay implementation of the sequestration cuts to IDEA, Titles I & II of ESEA and Perkins until July 1, still if Congress and the Administration don’t change the law all education programs include those 4 will be cut by 8%. How will this cut impact special education? Reports indicate that this cut will translate into the elimination of 12,000 special education teachers around the nation and impact the services that close to 500,000 students with disabilities currently receive. CEC and its division CASE also issued a report earlier this year, which confirmed that special education directors believe that if the cut goes forward jobs will be lost. Read that report here.
Tell Congress what this cut will mean to your program, your students and children and families you work with. Anyone can use CEC’s Legislative Action Center (LAC) to find out (1) who is your Representative and your Senators and (2) draft an email directly to them (or use one we drafted for you) to share how cuts to education hurt. Now is the time to let Congress know we need them to plan responsibly and eliminate the need for sequestration.