RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina's elected public schools superintendent was on Capitol Hill Wednesday to describe the effect on education if Congress fails to restructure broad budget cuts coming at the end of the year.
Superintendent of Public Instruction June Atkinson testified to a Senate subcommittee with a Texas school superintendent and others.
The so-called sequestration spending cuts were agreed to last summer by congressional Republican leaders and President Barack Obama. Congress is scrambling to come up with a way to avoid automatic cuts in domestic and military programs of $1 trillion over a decade.
Atkinson says 16 percent of North Carolina's education budget comes from federal funding. She says the cuts would hurt reform efforts in five programs, affecting more than 200,000 students and potentially costing 600 jobs.
"Education is but a tiny fraction of the federal budget but with enormously high impact on our nation’s future," Atkinson said. "Sequestration was not caused by the failure of our teachers or our students, yet it is they who will suffer the most if sequestration does go into effect. Students and educators are not to blame for our nation’s fiscal problems, and they deserve better.”