A new report from Democratic members of the House Appropriations Committee says that those looming automatic cuts to federal spending will take an especially big bite out of special education.
The report issued last week says 12,000 special education teachers and aides could lose their jobs if automatic cuts in federal special education grants to states go through.
These automatic cuts, the wonky term for which is sequestration, are set to take effect Jan. 2. They stem from Congress' disagreement over raising the federal debt ceiling last summer. Lawmakers decided they needed to cut $1.2 trillion out of the federal budget over the next 10 years. The plan was to work on a bipartisan agreement to figure out what those cuts should be, but since they didn't figure out a compromise, across-the-board budget cuts go into effect automatically. (For schools, the single silver lining is that the cuts wouldn't really be felt until the 2013-14 school year.)
The White House had already warned that cuts to special education and other education spending would be steep: an 8.2 percent cut to almost every U.S. Department of Education program. That would mean special education programs, funded at about $12.6 billion, would be cut by about $1 billion.
Read more of Nirvi Shah's On Special Education article HERE.