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New NEA analysis shows sequestration shortchanges students

Report demonstrates the need for revenues and balanced deficit reduction


WASHINGTON - July 10, 2012 -

The clock is ticking. If Congress doesn’t come up with a balanced solution to reduce the deficit, across-the-board cuts will kick in automatically. And those cuts will cost America’s students …dramatically. The National Education Association (NEA) has released a detailed analysis of the consequences that sequestration would have on public education. It shows that nearly all federal education programs would receive reduced funding.

“Sequestration shortchanges students,” said Dennis Van Roekel, president of NEA. “Some students may be too young to understand the word with multiple syllables or the numbers with all the commas. But they will definitely feel the impact when they report to classes packed with more students. They will feel the impact when they don’t have a place to go before or after school. At a time when students need more, Congress is set to intentionally give them less.”

NEA’s analysis shows that education funding would fall off a cliff, dropping to pre-2003 levels. America’s schools have added 5.4 million students since 2003, and education costs have increased 25 percent, just for K-12. The blow to public education could mean $4.8 billion in funding cuts, fewer services for some 9 million students and potential job losses for up to 80,000 educators from pre-K to college.

This would be the latest round of slashes, as education and other programs have already taken the brunt of deficit reduction cuts already. Van Roekel added, “Our schools and colleges are serving more students and facing higher costs, but continue to lose funding. We cannot continue to go backward. We must invest in the priorities that build the foundation for student learning, a strong economy and a strong nation.”

Van Roekel urged Congress to come up with a plan to reduce the deficit and avoid sequestration. “Congress must pass a balanced plan that actually increases revenues responsibly and requires those most able to pay their fair share to do so. Lawmakers should let tax cuts for the wealthy expire and close federal tax loopholes that do nothing to strengthen our economy.”

Click here for an overview of NEA’s report
Click here for a detailed analysis, including state-by-state breakdowns

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The National Education Association is the nation’s largest professional employee organization, representing more than 3 million elementary and secondary teachers, higher education faculty, education support professionals, school administrators, retired educators and students preparing to become teachers.

CONTACT: Ramona Parks-Kirby  (202) 822-7823, rparks@nea.org