Sequestration: What It Means for CTE…

Within the Grand Forks Public Schools, funding for the Career & Technical Education (CTE) department (which includes the K-12 Career Education program) comes from three sources:  1) local, 2) state, and 3) federal dollars.  State and Federal dollars for CTE is provided through the Carl D. Perkins Act which is currently up for reauthorization at the federal level. 

During the tough economic times of our nation, discretionary funding for education is heavily debated on whether it should increase, remain the same, or decreased for budgetary reasons.  A term being used during these discussions is “sequestration,” which simply stated is the cancellation of budgetary resources or an automatic form of spending cutback.  This comes about due to the 12 member Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction (a.k.a. “super-committee) being unable to agree on a plan to reduce the deficit $1.2 – $1.5 trillion over the next ten years.  In lieu of the lack of agreement, the Budget Control Act of 2011 triggered an automatic sequestration of automatic cuts for nine years (Fiscal Years 2013-2021) totalling $1.2 trillion. 

Congressional action can still take place to avoid the first year of sequestration, scheduled for January 2, 2013, resulting into an estimated 8.4% cut to Carl Perkins funding (or $94 million dollars).  This amount of cuts would reduce federal CTE funding to the 1999 funding levels, even as there are currently 2.5 million more students enrolled in CTE than there were in 1999.

To help with more information about “sequestration” and what is means for CTE, follow the links below.  If you have concerns over the projected discretionary budget cuts, you are encouraged to contact your legislators.

Eric Ripley, Director of Career & Technical Education

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