News Releases

SEQUESTRATION: Education Advocates, Parent-Teacher Organizations Support Murray Amendment to Examine all Painful Cuts

Jun 20 2012

Advocates send letters to senators supporting Murray amendment, opposing efforts to solely look at defense cuts

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, education advocates from across the country sent letters to U.S. Senators urging them to support the amendment introduced by U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) that would call on the Office of Management and Budget to submit a detailed report to Congress on the effects of defense and nondefense budget sequestration. The advocates also urged Senators to oppose efforts to examine defense cuts alone while ignoring the automatic cuts that would impact middle class families and the most vulnerable Americans. A vote on the Murray and McCain amendments is expected today.

Click on links to see copy of the full letter. Excerpts below.

Joint letter from the American Association of School Administrators, the Association of Education Service Agencies, the National Rural Education Advocacy Coalition, and the National Rural Education Association:

“We are writing to express our strong support for an amendment being offered by Senator Murray. Sen. Murray’s amendment would require the Office of Management and Budget to submit to Congress a detailed report on the impact of sequestration cuts for both defense and nondefense funding…Further, we urge you to oppose Senator McCain’s amendment (#2162), which while similar in requesting a report, only examines the impact on defense programs. It is imperative that the American public and the officials elected to represent them have complete information about the impact of sequestration, covering all aspects of the budget, not just defense.”

National PTA:

“The more than five million members of National PTA, comprising parents, family members, teachers, students, administrators, and child advocates in all fifty states, urge you to vote in favor of [Murray’s] amendment…and in opposition to Senator McCain’s amendment…. Senator McCain’s amendment would require a detailed report solely for defense programs. PTA believes it is absolutely critical that both Congress and the public have access to information on the impact of sequestration as it relates to all programs – especially those that will directly and immediately impact services to children and families. While details on the impact of sequestration to defense programs is important, PTA asserts that potential negative impact of sequestration on nondefense programs – especially education programs – should be considered in the context of national security and long-term economic competitiveness and prosperity.”

Committee for Education Funding:

“We urge your support for the Murray amendment, as opposed to Senator McCain’s amendment #2162, which requires such a sequester report solely for defense programs. It is critical that both Congress and the public have information about the impact of sequestration on all parts of the budget, not just defense. We believe education programs are an important component of our national and economic security.”

First Focus Campaign for Children:

“…on behalf of the First Focus Campaign for Children, a bipartisan advocacy organization committed to making children and their families a priority in federal policy and budget decisions, to express our support for Senator Murray’s amendment…This amendment will clarify the exact amount that will be cut from next year’s budget…it is clear that these cuts will dramatically affect investments in children. Investments to education, children’s housing, and early childhood will likely be particularly hard hit. It is absolutely necessary that we understand sequestration’s full impact, and only OMB has that information.”

National Skills Coalition:

“On behalf of National Skills Coalition—a national network of business leaders, union affiliates, community colleges, community?based organizations, and public workforce agencies working together to help every worker and every industry in this country gain the skills they need to compete and prosper in today’s economy—I am writing in support of your amendment…Importantly, unlike the amendment…being offered by Senator McCain—which only focuses on the defense sequesters—your amendment would also examine the impacts of the nondefense discretionary (NDD) sequesters scheduled to occur in 2013 under current law.”

Murray released the following statement upon introduction of her amendment on Monday.

“As we continue working toward a balanced and bipartisan replacement to the automatic cuts that both Democrats and Republicans agree are bad policy, my amendment will make sure Congress understands exactly how the Administration would enact sequestration if we can’t come to a deal.

“My amendment calls for an examination of all of the automatic cuts, not just one piece of them.  Sequestration would slash across a broad swath of our federal budget—from the Pentagon, to our border security, to education funding, and to the support middle class families and the most vulnerable Americans depend on in this tough economy.

“I agree with Senator McCain that we need to get more information on the impact of sequestration, but I don’t think that effort should be limited to one piece of the federal budget. The bipartisan automatic cuts should be addressed as a whole in a balanced and bipartisan way, and I believe their impact should be examined in full across all areas of the budget they touch.”