Obama’s ed budget a tough sell on Capitol Hill

Meanwhile, appropriations from the 2011 fiscal year have still not been approved, and a Republican bill would cut $4.9 billion in education from the 2010 budget.

All of that makes increasing education spending a difficult sell.

“It’s going to be really hard to work out a compromise,” said Joel Packer, executive director of the Committee for Education Funding, a nonprofit organization that advocates for increased federal education spending.

“We’re worried we’re going to end up with a government shutdown.”
Packer and others said districts are facing a triple blow to their education budgets: The end of stimulus money from the Recovery Act, which provided an unprecedented $100 billion for education; ongoing budget cuts at the state and local level; and, depending on Congress, potential federal cuts.

Federal money represents about 10.5 percent of most education budgets, but the huge influx of stimulus and emergency teacher jobs funding over the last two years helped soften cuts to the classroom. Now as that money dries up, districts are expected to slash from already bare-bone budgets.

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