NAESP, along with an unprecedented array of nearly 3,000 national, state, and local groups from the education, health, public safety and other fields, delivered a letter to Congress this week calling for a “balanced approach” to deficit reduction that does not include further cuts to nondefense programs. Read the full letter here.

If Congress fails to pass a broad deficit reduction plan by the end of the current year, federal education funding is scheduled to be cut by 8 to 9 percent. These across-the-board cuts, known as sequestration, would mean a reduction of over $4 billion in federal education investments.

These cuts, scheduled to begin in January, 2013, can only be reduced if Congress passes legislation that would make targeted cuts to certain federal programs and raise revenues. If enacted, sequestration would be devastating to many sectors but especially education. (This report details the impact of sequestration on education programs, with state-by-state data). Nationally, over 102,000 education jobs have already been lost over the last year. Only 3 percent of the federal budget is spent to fund the entire U.S. Department of Education, and schools must not bear the brunt of future deficit reduction plans.

Members of Congress need to hear from constituents on how these budget cuts will impact their communities. NAESP members may visit the Legislative Action Center to write to your own federal lawmakers to ask that they reduce protect critical education programs.

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