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Education Secretary Says Special Education To See Cuts Under Sequestration

By Michele McNeil. Crossposted from Politics K-12.

The Obama administration continued to turn up the volume on the magnitude of the sequestration cuts by bringing U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan before the White House press corps today to outline what will happen if these across-the-board cuts take effect next month.

He warned of $725 million in cuts to Title I, and $600 million to special education.

He cited one district in West Virginia that has already sent out layoff notices, and warned that more will flood the zone in March and April.

And to the critics who say he has discretion within his agency to mitigate the harmful effects of cuts, he replied: "It's not true." He said "there's nowhere to go" except to cut Title I and special education funding, which together comprise $25 billion of the department's budget. "You're hurting poor kids or you're hurting special needs."

More immediately, he said he's going to participate in a call tomorrow with superintendents who will be hit the hardest by impact-aid cuts.

(If it makes you feel any better, U.S. Rep. John Kline, the Republican chairman of the House education committee, doesn't think the cuts will be in place for very long.)

For more information about any of this, please see our FAQ post on sequestration.

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