Shutdown’s impact on ed programs uncertain

A variety of education programs will feel effects of shutdown

government-shutdownAs Congress failed to reach a budget agreement on Sept. 30, triggering a federal government shutdown, education leaders and ed-tech stakeholders wondered how long, and to what extent, education programs would be impacted.

Experts are unsure how long the shutdown will continue, and while some education programs receiving mandatory funding will be sustained, others will see a delay in funds and activity.

The federal eRate program, which is administered independently and funded by the Universal Service Fund, will continue to function. However, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which sets eRate policy, is impacted by the shutdown, and anything needing approval or guidance would likely be delayed or halted during the shutdown due to staff limitations, said Clare McCann, a New America Foundation policy analyst. As of October 1, the FCC’s website displayed a bare-bones message informing visitors of the shutdown.…Read More

Minnesota shutdown prompts political blame game

With Minnesota’s state government closed for business, the focus shifted Friday to who’s to blame, the Associated Press reports. The shutdown started at 12:01 a.m. CDT Friday, the victim of an ongoing dispute over taxes and spending between Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican legislative majorities. Talks fell apart well before the deadline, leaving state parks closed on the brink of the Fourth of July weekend, putting road projects at a standstill and forcing thousands of state worker layoffs. The heads of the state’s Republican and Democratic parties each say the other side is responsible…

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Eleventh-hour budget deal cuts $13B from health, education, labor

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.

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 8, congressional and White House negotiators struck an agreement to pay for government operations through the end of September while cutting $38.5 billion in federal spending overall. Lawmakers then approved a days-long stopgap measure to keep the government running while the details of the new spending plan were written into legislation.

Actual approval of the deal is expected to come later this week.…Read More