Student Opportunity Gaps

Take sequestration seriously at the Federal Level. If enacted, it will affect Title I budgets for FY ‘13

By April 9, 2012 No Comments

AASA provides an excellent resource ( for an audio PowerPoint explaining sequestration, interactive worksheet to calculate the effect of sequestration on your federal programs, and links to inform your U.S. Representatives and Minnesota’s Senators about the effects of sequestration on your district. Sequestration will result should congress fail to act before the end of 2012.

Sequestration is expected to reduce Federal discretionary spending by 9.1% starting in January 2013.  This will affect the second half of Minnesota’s Fiscal ’13 Federal Title I and other Title expenditures. At a minimum, it is recommended that your district reduces your budget for Title I by 5% for FY ’13 to account for a 9.1% federal reduction for the last half of FY ’13.

Probably the most accurate method to calculate the impact on your district is to use the AASA worksheet and understand that it affects half of FY ’13 and all of FY ’14. How much carry over you have and whether you want to use it to cushion the blow is also a factor to consider in budgeting.

It is recommended that you take sequestration seriously because the Obama and Ryan budgets represent very different futures for America and are designed to highlight their differences leading up to the November election. While we can hope that a bi-partisan agreement will occur between Nov. 7 and Dec. 31, as a former superintendent, I recommend you prepare for the worst, hope for the best, and advocate for kids by informing Minnesota Representatives and Senators of the affects of sequestration.

MN’s Legislature takes a breather. What happened in the final days before the spring recess:
A win before break!
A provision in the Senate E-12 omnibus bill (SF 2482) to limit school bond referendum votes to an election in early November of each year was removed on a motion by Sen. David Brown (GOP Becker). Thank you to all who contacted your legislators about this issue. The omnibus bill passed and now matches up with HF 2949 for a conference committee after break.

The legislature has been debating, amending and passing bills on the floor all week, and they’re about to head home for a ten day break. They return on Monday, April 16th and will have a week, maybe two, to negotiate their provisions with Governor Dayton.

Dayton has signed a number of smaller policy bills, but he vetoed a high profile bill (HF 2083) to repay $430 million of the $2.4 billion of school shifts owed by the state. Dayton said the bill was politically appealing, but fiscally irresponsible because the money came from newly replenished reserves needed for future deficits. He’s also said he won’t sign HF 1870 (LIFO). The legislature could put that on his desk at any time when they return.

Notes on remaining education issues
Post-secondary education expansion – There are competing provisions in the House and Senate bills. The House proposal is less controversial than the Senate proposal. Sen. Gen Olson is pushing hard for the expansion to 10th graders and for-profit trade schools.

Science Standards and Graduation Credits – Rep. Deb Kiel (GOP Crookston) was successful in getting a bill (HF 682) off the House floor just before break with a lot of support (120-1). The bill would provide flexibility over how science standards are achieved by allowing districts to es