More Guns, Fewer Books: How the Sequester Could Bring Education Funding to 2002 Levels

The sequester continues to bring on its slow destruction of American public institutions.

According to an analysis by the New America Foundation:

Last week, Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee circulated a proposal that would shift fiscal year 2014 funding from health care, job training, and education programs to military and national security programs. (Fiscal year 2014 starts October 1, 2013.) Just how big of a hit does that mean for education programs? Put it this way, the cuts the House Republicans have in mind for the upcoming fiscal year are four times larger than those under sequestration. That is, take education funding—already lower due to sequestration—and cut it again four times over.

This is because the Budget Control Act of 2011 limits fiscal year 2014 appropriations spending to $18 billion below the 2013 sequester level. That is, of course, the thing with the sequester, it limits spending in a way that’s supposed to be deliberately painful and force compromise in Congress.

Numerous pundits have explained how this is a terribly irresponsible way to run government budgeting, but the more immediate problem is that, within this mandatory spending reduction, Republicans in Congress also plan to hike defense spending.

As New America explains, the Republican House Appropriations Committee proposal would put appropriations for programs covered by the Labor-Health and Human Services (HHS)-Education Appropriations Subcommittee at $122 billion in 2014.

The last time Congress allocated $122 billion for the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill? 2002.

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer