Duncan: Cuts to education would ‘jeopardize’ nation’s ability to compete

Sequestration would “jeopardize our nation’s ability to develop and support an educated, skilled workforce that can compete in the global economy,” Duncan told a Senate panel. (Albert H. Teich/Shutterstock.com)

Services would have to be slashed for more than 1.8 million disadvantaged students and thousands of teachers and aides would lose their jobs if automatic, across-the-board cuts to the federal budget kick in as a result of lawmakers’ failure to agree on deficit-reduction measures, Education Secretary Arne Duncan warned July 25.

He urged Congress to find an alternative deficit-reduction plan that won’t undermine the Education Department’s ability to serve students in high-poverty schools and improve schools with high dropout rates.

Duncan said the automatic cuts, referred to by many in Washington as sequestration, also would adversely affect financial aid programs for college students.…Read More

Student loans eyed by budgeteers

Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., recently dismissed negotiations among the Senate's 'Gang of Six.'

The White House and key lawmakers are considering reductions in student loan subsidies, farm payments, and support for federal workers’ pensions as they search for cuts that can clear the way for an increase in the national debt limit, according to officials in both parties.

The proposals being floated by both sides of the political spectrum differ over key details, but both would involve having interest on their college loans begin to accrue for at least some college students while they are still in school.

The negotiations are still in the early stages, with no final decisions made, these officials said May 18.…Read More