The federal Department of Education (ED) is feeling the effects of the government shutdown on Oct. 1, according to its website. The Department of Education Contingency Plan shows the impact will worsen for higher education and public schools as time passes.
"No end in sight to government shutdown after 'unproductive' White House meeting," CNN reported in an article late yesterday night.
Here are the 7 worst effects of the shutdown on education:
1. Unfunded programs Non-mandatory programs won’t receive new funding after October 1 until the shutdown is over. This includes school programs such as Head Start, already suffering from Sequestration cuts. Financial aid awards for college students are also affected including Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (SEOG) and the Federal Work-Study program.
2. Cash flow curtailed School districts, colleges and universities, and vocational rehabilitation agencies dependent on ED funds to support their services will severely suffer. Many school districts receive more than 20 percent of their funds from ED programs. Colleges also rely on ED higher education funds to pay expenses of staff running programs for disadvantaged students seeking admission and attendance in college. ED provides vocational rehabilitation agencies 80 percent of the cost of providing services to adult individuals with disabilities.
3. Understaffed About 95 percent of the ED staff has been furloughed. “As of September, the Department employed 4,225 full and part-time employees,” according to the Department of Education Contingency Plan. These people won’t be working on important ED programs nor receiving a paycheck. This affects program recipients, employees and the economy.
4. Slow payments Cutbacks of personnel at the ED could slow future financial aid payments for college. Financial aid awarded Pell Grants and Federal Direct Student Loans are “excepted” from the shutdown but payments may be delayed if the shutdown continues.
5. Loss of future funding Some programs have been funded for now but can only continue for a short term. For example, Race to the Top, Investing in Innovation, and Promise Neighborhoods have funds only available through December 31.
6. Outdated website Schools, parents and students will not have updated information from many websites operated by ED. In the world of higher education, things can change at any time but now there will be limited access to current news.
7. No service Customer service will cease because of the shutdown. There is also a halt to the development of new programs or activities.
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