What the Shutdown Means for Education
WAIT, THEY DID WHAT?
As if the sequester hasn’t hurt education programs enough (cf: work-study, Title 1, Federal Loans, Individuals with Disabilities Act, Head Start*), GOP brinksmanship on a law that was already passed (by a supermajority), ratified, and upheld by the Supreme Court and voters in the last election has shut the government down as of today.
Despite 72% opposition from Americans as of a poll last night (A Quinnipiac University survey released Tuesday morning found that by a 50-point margin, Americans opposed using a government shutdown to block implementation of the Affordable Care Act, 72 percent to 22 percent.), the 10% of congressional hardliners didn’t, to use their own word, blink. A vote on a clean CR could end it today, if the House majority leader would stand up to them.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR ME?
Here’s a roundup from some great sources for your morning reading.
EdWeek, as always, is a good place to start
Alyson Klein points out these points:
A short-term shutdown won’t cause much pain, but a longer one could be disastrous. She includes a link to the Department of Ed’s shutdown plan.
Campus-based aid programs like work-study is affected.
Funding for school lunch is okay through October, and then there’s a link to the USDA’s shutdown plan.
“A longer-term shutdown is a different animal. “A protracted delay in Department obligations and payments beyond one week would severly curtail the cash flow to school districts, colleges and universities, and vocational rehabilitation agencies that depend on the Department to support their services,” department officials wrote in their shutdown plan.”
Find articles like this on Twitter @Politicsk12
I WANT TO PARTICIPATE!
Send WNYC your Story. WNYC’s Brian Lehrer show is looking for stories about the shutdown. If you have one, find them on Twitter @BrianLehrer
SO WHO IS WORKING? STRATEGISTS!
One sector of Washington that hasn’t taken a break is the political community: In the run-up to the shutdown, top Democratic and Republican strategists counseled lawmakers on their side about how best to describe the shutdown and its consequences. GOP pollster Glen Bolger, who advises many House Republicans, released a memo Monday warning his party that it must seek to appear reasonable and willing to accept partial concessions, if it is to compete with “the bully pulpit that Obama has.”
“Do not take shots at people — especially government workers. That will only backfire. Instead, highlight the wasteful programs that Democrats believe need maximum funding,” Bolger said. “Republicans have to get something tangible from this, or the base will be devastated going into 2014. That does not mean no compromise — last I looked, the Democrats control two-thirds of the power in D.C., so the GOP is not going to get everything it wants.”
Democratic pollster Jef Pollock, meanwhile, released a polling memo from the firm Global Strategies Group arguing that voters are primed to accept the argument that congressional Republicans are “irresponsible and reckless, putting the economy at risk to advance their political agenda.”
Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/10/government-shutdown-2013-97621.html#ixzz2gTf7r5Mm
INSURANCE EXCHANGES OPEN
Ironically, the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges, the very issue the GOP wants to shut down, is open for business today. Here is NY State’s webpage.
REACTIONS FROM EDUCATION AGENCIES
Libby Nelson has the reactions from education agencies: (@LibbyANelson)
First Five Years Fund: “One day of a government shutdown could prevent 19,000 Head Start kids in 10 different states from attending classes… Parents and families across the country recognize that now is not the time to be cutting programs or shutting down opportunities for children.” …
The National School Boards Association: “This shutdown reflects a much larger and long-term problem with Congress and the budget process for K-12 education programs. For several years Congress has passed budgets built on continuing resolutions with education programs funded at the same levels as the year before or cut because of sequestration. This process does not adequately fund the high-priority education programs that will impact student learning, and public schools across the U.S. deserve better from our leaders in Washington.” …
The National Education Association: “It should never have come to this…. The refusal to compromise also means a continuation of harmful sequester cuts. Millions of students — especially those with the greatest needs — will pay the price for years to come if the harmful sequester cuts to education continue.”
WHAT ABOUT HIGHER ED?
Inside Higher Ed (@insidehighered) has some quick takes on what this means for Higher Education
They include contingency plans from the NSA, the Department of Education, financial aid information, the Department of Health and Human Services, the National Endowment for the Humanities
And from the Chronicle of Higher Ed, Kelly Field, Paul Basken, and Jennifer Howard point out that a shutdown of over a week could delay cash flow to colleges and universities receiving grants. This could affect research, and programs designed to help disadvantaged students enter and stay in college.
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