Budget cuts don’t add up

Education cuts won’t balance the budget and will hurt in the long term.

Daily Editorial Board

Last Wednesday, Congress passed and President Barack Obama signed a short-term spending bill that funds the federal government through March 18. While it is imperative that lawmakers work together to find compromise, the cuts in this bill are an unacceptable solution to the federal budget crisis.

The current bill does nothing to address Social Security, Medicare and other entitlement spending programs, which comprise the vast majority of the federal budget.

Instead, these cuts come from the only 12 percent of the federal budget that is discretionary spending.

From this 12 percent, the compromise spending bill targeted earmarks âÄî or noncompetitive funds designated for a specific group or project âÄî which have a well-earned reputation as wasteful government spending.

However, many important education programs are funded by earmarks. For example, the recent spending bill cuts $18 million from Teach for America, more than $300 million for literacy programs and $25.6 million for the National Writing Project.

Some of these programs, such as Teach for America, receive other sources of funding and can ride out the effects of the funding cut. Others will be eliminated.

Instead of trimming around the edges as they have done with this budget, politicians on both sides of the aisle should work toward a stable long-term budget. Cutting educational programs is a poor way to obtain insubstantial government savings and causes drastic harm to the already-struggling students they serve.