August Government Relations Update

Federal FY13 Budget With Congress on its August recess, the FY13 budget and potential cuts to education programs will not be hammered out until next month at the earliest, though it is entirely possible that a continuing resolution (or a series of them) will keep the government funded through 2013, as both parties hope to win control of the White House and Congress and pass its own legislation at that point. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), the ranking minority member of the Labor/HHS/Education Appropriations Subcommittee, published this information on what the proposed cuts of $1.7 billion would mean for education programs. In the Senate, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies, released a similar report on the Senate version of the bill and its potential impacts. And in July 25 testimony before Sen. Harkin’s subcommittee, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan estimated $1.1 billion in Title I funding (impacting more than 4,000 schools serving 1.8 million students and jeopardizing the jobs of more than 15,000 teachers and aides) and $900 million in special education cuts (which could mean more layoffs of more than 10,000 teachers, aides and staff).

Meanwhile, the American Association of School Administrators recently released a report saying that if the proposed 8 – 9% cuts to education are enacted under sequestration, 53% of superintendents may defer tech purchases and 38% to plan defer textbook purchases.  About 90% of the superintendents also said that their state and local funding would not able to soften the impact of cuts to federal spending from sequestration. Clearly, the budget battle and its uncertain effects on school budgets will continue to be a major concern for the education industry through the foreseeable future.

Arc Congratulates SBIR Grants Winners The Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program at the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) recently award grants to several small businesses working on the research and development of education technology products. The SBIR program awards grants in both general education and special education tracks. The 2012 winners are listed here – Arc congratulates all the companies on their success!