Nobody likes to tighten the belt on their finances. It’s hard to cut things out of your life that you’ve gotten used to and it’s stressful figuring out if you’re going to have enough money to pay the bills. Unfortunately, right now there are people all over the country in this very position, both at the personal and organizational levels. School districts especially have been hit hard as a result of the economic downturn. But don’t give up on your programs just yet.

It’s time to clear up some widespread confusion regarding the topic of funding cuts in education. As we work with administrators, we’re finding a lot of people are hesitant to invest in new programs at their schools because they fear that their funding will run out midway through the school year. But according to Anthony Miller, Deputy Secretary of Education, “Title I grants to districts, special education state grants, career and technical education, and Title II grants for teacher quality wouldn’t be cut in the middle of the school year even if the automatic federal spending cuts triggered by last year’s deficit-reduction deal take place.”

Breathe a Sigh of Relief

Not that this clarification gives school districts the freedom to go on spending sprees, but it does give them some breathing room until at least the 2013-2014 school year. That means school districts will have their planned budgets to work with this coming school year and more time to plan and figure out how they will deal with the budget cuts potentially going into effect for the 2013-2014 school year.

“There is no reason to believe that a sequestration would affect funding for the 2012-13 school year”
~Anthony Miller, Deputy Secretary of Education

Invest Wisely

The natural tendency is to hire more staff with the new-found budgetary relief. However, if the budget cuts do in fact take place in the future, districts may no longer be able to afford keeping this additional staff on hand and they will be forced to let them go. Instead, we encourage schools to revamp their programs using technology. At just $5 per credit, the programs offered at Conover Online are a cost-effective solution to maintain or even improve your programs in the wake of budget cuts. All of the programs offered through Conover Online have built-in progress monitoring, and data is tracked in real-time so administrators can use those results to justify post-secondary goals in the student’s IEP. Our management system combined with the power of mobile technology offers a solution for efficient, personalized learning in the face of restricted budgets.

There is still a chance that congress will figure out a way to work around cutting educational budgets, but in the mean time, take comfort knowing that your budget for the 2012-2013 school year is safe as is. We encourage school districts to use this opportunity to invest in meaningful programs that will last for years to come, in the event that future budget cuts do impact spending on special education and career-focused programs.