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AM News: Sequester Could Leave Special Ed, Title 1 Students Without Services

Sequester Could Leave Special Education Kids Without Important Services HuffPostEdu: Under sequestration, which is scheduled to go into effect Friday, federal education spending would be reduced significantly. Special-education students in particular would take a huge hit, with Individuals with Disabilities Education Act funding slated to lose $591 million over 10 years. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has been barnstorming cable talk shows and White House press briefings, calling these blind cuts "dumb." And even though most of the school cuts wouldn't take place until the 2013-14 academic year, school districts have already been thrown into chaos as they budget for September.

AMNewsSequester Spells Uncertainty For Many Public Schools NPR: If Congress and the Obama administration can't agree on a budget deal by Friday, the federal government will be forced to cut $85 billion from just about every federally funded program. There is one bit of good news for schools: Because most federal aid to schools is forward-funded, the cuts triggered by sequestration would not hit classrooms until September at the earliest. But once they do hit, federal funding for education in some places will drop considerably.

Los Angeles school districts are new target of education reformers HechingerEd: The large amounts of outside money flowing into the Los Angeles Unified school board election represent a new front in the reform battles that have shaken up education politics over the last decade. Donations of $1 million by Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City and $250,000 by former District of Columbia Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, in particular, have sparked controversy.

House Education Panel Grapples With School Safety Concerns PoliticsK12: Some lawmakers on the Democratic side of the aisle, such as U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney of Connecticut, said they would like to see more resources for school safety and mental health. But the committee didn't engage in a robust debate over whether the federal government, or state and local governments, should be financing school safety efforts. Instead, members heard from witnesses about practices that are already in place, including ensuring that school resource officers develop close relationships with students, and continually updating school safety plans.

Among Philly teachers, anger and dismay at contract offer Inquirer: Teachers were shocked, worried, angry, she said - many senior teachers feel that they're being targeted, that the district wants less expensive and less experienced employees. Schools need a mix of veterans and rookies, Fried said, and it would be a blow to lose big numbers of veterans. The district is in financial distress, projecting a $1-billion-plus deficit over five years without corrective action. It plans to close 29 schools and give three more to charters, and officials have said they expect no teacher layoffs.

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