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Letter to the House on the Continuing Resolution for FY 2013

March 21, 2013

Dear Representative:

On behalf of the more than three million members of the National Education Association, we urge you to vote NO on H.R. 933, the Continuing Resolution (CR) for FY 2013 as amended by the Senate, which still fails to eliminate devastating and arbitrary across-the-board cuts to education. Votes associated with this issue may be included in the NEA Legislative Report Card for the 113th Congress. 

The CR simply accepts the sequester’s indiscriminate, across-the-board cuts, slashing non-defense discretionary programs, including education, by 5 percent—the equivalent of cutting nearly all education programs and Head Start by roughly $3 billion. Services or financial aid will be reduced or eliminated for more than 7 million of our neediest students, and the jobs of tens of thousands of educators put at risk when Congress should be working to help create jobs.   

Students will feel the blow of the cuts as fewer educators, reading coaches, and counselors lead to ballooning class sizes, elimination of tutoring and after-school programs, and less individual attention. 

These cuts take us in the wrong direction as a nation. Education funding will be rolled back to pre-2004 levels, despite the fact that we have nearly 6 million more students in our schools today (counting higher education) than we did back then.  

We oppose the federal pay freeze included in the CR, which affects educators who work on Department of Defense bases. These public servants, who educate and serve the sons and daughters of our men and women in uniform, already face furloughs of as many as 22 days between now and the end of the fiscal year—the equivalent of a 20 percent pay cut because of the sequester. They and their students deserve better. 

Instead of asking the middle class and students to make further sacrifices, we should be calling on corporations and the very wealthy to pay their fair share. As just one example, closing the loophole that allows corporations to defer taxes on offshore profits could generate some $600 billion in revenue over 10 years, or nearly twice the $337 billion needed to fully fund the federal share of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Instead, the CR cuts special education funding by well over $600 million.

Slashing education funding is short-sighted. By allowing the sequester cuts to continue, the CR harms our students as well as our economy—today and in the future. We urge you to vote NO on H.R. 933. 

Sincerely, 

Mary Kusler
Director, Government Relations