Education Secretary Decries Sequestration

February 22, 2013

Education Secretary Arne Duncan came out swinging Thursday, directing his harshest words at congressional lawmakers before what he calls “increasingly likely” mandatory spending cuts for “real kids, real teachers and real classrooms” from sequestration this March.

Speaking to reporters at a breakfast roundtable, Duncan said teachers are beginning to receive pink slips based on school districts’ fears of sequestration, the mandated, across-the-board 5 percent cuts created by Congress to push lawmakers into a budget deal. “This stuff is real,” he said.

A former Chicago schools CEO, Duncan blamed what he called “the height of dysfunction” in Congress: “There’s no one in their right mind who would say this is good for kids and good for the country, yet somehow it becomes tenable in Washington. I just think people don’t spend enough time in the real world. And if we spent more time in the real world, we wouldn’t have this kind of intransigence here.”

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