Districts and state officials who have lost sleep worrying that key federal education progams might be cut smack in the middle of the coming school year can calm down, at least according to a letter the U.S. Department of Education sent out to chief state school officers late Friday.
Title I grants to districts, special education state grants, career and technical education, and Title II grants for teacher quality wouldn’t be cut in the middle of the school year even if the automatic federal spending cuts triggered by last year’s deficit-reduction deal take place, Anthony Miller, the deputy secretary of education at the department, wrote.
“There is no reason to believe that a sequestration would affect funding for the 2012-13 school year,” he wrote.
Some background: If Congress doesn’t get its act together, an across-the-board cut to almost all domestic programs (“sequestration” in Inside-the-Beltway speak) is set to take place on Jan. 2. Lots of state and district officials were very concerned that this could spell cuts to big federal programs—including Title I grants for districts and special education—halfway through the next school year. More on advocates’ angst over the cuts here.