Unless Congress acts, on March 1, 2013 all federally-funded education programs (other than Pell grants which is exempt from the first year cut) will be subject to a 5 percent automatic across-the-board cut as part of an overall $85 billion sequestration spending cut.
The last Congress enacted more than $2.5 trillion of deficit reduction. Counting interest savings, over $1.7 trillion was from discretionary spending cuts – about 70 percent – while only about $750 billion (counting interest savings) was from increased revenue.
It is critical that plans to replace the sequester utilize a balanced approach, including revenues and mandatory spending cuts, that protect education and other nondefense discretionary (NDD) programs from further spending cuts.
These sequestration cuts would chop funding for programs in the Department of Education by $2.5 billion. In addition, Head Start would be cut by $398 million. This would be the largest cut EVER to education programs. Sequestration would move us backwards, by slashing Department of Education non-Pell grant discretionary funding below the Fiscal Year (FY) 2004 level.
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