M E M O R A N D U M
TO: School Board Members
District School Superintendents
Florida Education Legislative Liaisons
Selected Parent and Community Activists
FROM: Joie Cadle, President
Beverly Slough, Chair, Legislative Committee
Wayne Blanton, Executive Director
Ruth Melton, Director of Legislative Relations
DATE: November 5, 2012
RE: FSBA Resolution on Sequestration
The Budget Control Act of 2011 passed the U.S. House and Senate in August of 2011, ending a highly charged debate in Congress over raising the federal debt ceiling in exchange for spending and deficit reductions. In brief, the Budget Control Act imposed caps on discretionary programs that will reduce their funding by more than $1 trillion over the ten years from 2012 through 2021. Among other provisions, it also established a Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction – also known as the Supercommittee – to propose legislation that would reduce federal deficits by another $1.2 trillion over that same period. In case the Supercommittee was unable to reach an agreement on deficit reduction, as a backup, the Budget Control Act also established a "sequestration" procedure that would automatically impose $1.2 trillion in across-the-board cuts in spending for most federal programs. Unfortunately, the Supercommittee was not able to reach agreement, so the automatic sequestration process is scheduled to start in January 2013. [For a more detailed information on the sequestration process, please see the report of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities at http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=3635.]
Sequestration would cut more than $4 billion from federal education funding nationwide, including more than $175 from federal education funding for Florida. These cuts, coming on the heels of state and federal funding reductions in recent years due to the recession, would deal a crippling blow to many programs and services. As several consequences of the Budget Control Act have come to light, state and local education groups have appealed to Congressional leaders, asking that the Act be amended to minimize sequestration cuts to education. In addition, further adjustment to the federal debt ceiling will be needed soon. As a result, it is expected that Congress will reconvene in a "lame duck" session at some point after the November General Election, but before the sequestration process would go into effect on January 2, 2013.
In anticipation of the "lame duck" session, last week, the FSBA executive officers approved the attached FSBA Resolution on Sequestration which "urges Congress and the Administration to amend the Budget Control Act to mitigate the drastic cuts to education that would affect our students and communities, and to protect education as an investment critical to economic stability and American competitiveness." We encourage all school boards, as quickly as possible, to develop and adopt a similar resolution that provides information from your own district’s perspective, including information on the number of students, the programs, and the services that will be impacted in your district. Once you have adopted your own version of the resolution, we ask that you please forward a copy to both Ruth Melton in the FSBA office (firstname.lastname@example.org) and to Kathleen Branch in the NSBA office (email@example.com).
If you have any questions or concerns, please call the FSBA office.
FLORIDA SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOCIATION, INC
203 South Monroe Street ~ Tallahassee, FL 32301
Phone: 850/414-2578 ~ Fax: 850/414-2585
DR. WAYNE BLANTON
FSBA RESOLUTION ON SEQUESTRATION
WHEREAS, a world class public education is essential for the future success of our nation and today’s schoolchildren; and
WHEREAS, the Budget Control Act of 2011 includes a provision, known as sequestration, that would impose a $1.2 trillion across-the-board cut to almost all federal programs, including a cut of more than $4 billion to federal education appropriations; and
WHEREAS, these across-the-board cuts would become effective January 2, 2013 and would begin to impact school districts during the 2013-14 school year; and
WHEREAS, based on 2012 funding levels, sequestration would result in more that $173 million being cut from Florida’s education programs in the first year and the reductions would remain in effect over the 10-year sequestration period; and
WHEREAS, sequestration funding cuts to Florida education programs include, but are not limited to, more than $65.8 million cut from Title I, more than $52.2 million cut from Special Education, more than $11.62 million cut from Career and Technical Education, more than $10.1 million cut from Improving Teacher Quality, more than $3.3 million cut from English Language Acquisition, and more than $2 million cut from School Improvement; and
WHEREAS, sequestration would also impact school construction by cutting federal payments by 7.6% for certain Qualified School Construction Bonds, Build America Bonds, and Qualified Zone Academy Bonds issued during the economic stimulus; and
WHEREAS, in addition to cuts to education programs, sequestration would cut federal discretionary funding in other areas that would directly impact the health and education of Florida’s children, including, but not limited to, a cut of more than $24.5 million from Florida Head Start programs and more than $2.8 million in Florida Public Health Emergency Preparedness grants; and
WHEREAS, federal funding for K-12 programs was already reduced by more than $835 million in Fiscal Year 2011, and total state FEFP funding has been reduced by more is more than $1 billion since state Fiscal Year 2010-2011; and
WHEREAS, Florida, still struggling with the economic impacts of the Great Recession, has very limited capacity to absorb further budget cuts from sequestration;
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Florida School Boards Association urges Congress and the Administration to amend the Budget Control Act to mitigate the drastic cuts to education that would affect our students and communities, and to protect education as an investment critical to economic stability and American competitiveness.
The mission of the Florida School Boards Association (FSBA) is to increase student achievement through
the development of effective school board leadership and advocacy for public education.