Amended guidance on federal sequestration

This is an update on the current status of the anticipated sequestration of federal funds as a result of the debt limit deal enacted by Congress on August 2, 2011. The President is required to issue a sequestration order, which will have immediate effect, no later than Jan. 2, 2013.

These will affect funding for the five major education programs that receive FY 2012 advance funding: ESEA Titles I and II, Impact Aid, IDEA Part B and Career and Technical Education State Grants.

This update comes by way of a memorandum to chief state school officers from U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education Anthony Miller.

The good news is that the cuts to both the October 2012 and July 2013 federal appropriations will not be felt by local school districts until July 2013. Unfortunately, the anticipated amount of the reduction is higher than what the U.S. Department originally estimated – it is now expected to come in at 8.2 percent, up from the previous estimate of 7 percent.

This also means that the full amount of the reductions will be felt in one school year, rather than being spread out over two years.

As Miller explains in his letter, “there is no reason to believe that a sequestration would affect funding for the 2012-2013 school year – though the effect of the cuts may be amplified in July 2013 as cuts from both the 2012 advance funds and 2013 regular appropriations would be applied to that pool of funds.”

We have been informed that it is also possible that further cuts could be undertaken by Congress with the October 2013 and July  2014 funds awarded to the state, which would further impact our school districts.

We will continue to keep you informed as we have further updates on the sequestration issue. Please continue to follow this issue and note that this is our best understanding of a situation that continues to evolve in Washington, D.C., and is subject to change.

For more on sequestration, please see the Maine DOE School Funding Updates web page.

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