[caption id="attachment_60966" align="alignleft" width="215" caption="Though a federal government shutdown would have been more of an inconvenience than a disaster for education, some schools and students would have been affected."][/caption]

A last minute budget deal for the remainder of the 2011 fiscal year, forged amid bluster and tough bargaining, averted an embarrassing government shutdown and cut billions of dollars in federal spending, including $13 billion from the health, education, and labor budget—the first major test of the divided government voters ushered in five months ago.

Working late into the evening April...

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