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Noodle Staff
Noodle Expert Member

December 18, 2019

What does the U.S. government shutdown mean for American education?

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The Washington Post reports that despite todays shutdown of the federal government, public schools opened today because funding for this academic year has already been approved by Congress. But that doesnt mean education across the nation remains unscathed. Already, 19,000 children lost access to Head Start programs today. Programs in 11 states were scheduled to receive an annual grant that would have funded early education and social services to children and families

Beyond that, a U.S. Education Department plan for a shutdown calls for 94 percent of department employees to be furloughed, which could have wide-reaching effects after a week. Here are a few problems students and schools could encounter:

Cash flow to school districts and colleges would be in danger. Some school districts receive more than 20 percent of their funding from the Department.

Pell Grants and Direct Student Loans provide aid to over 14 million students. If there arent enough employees to process payments, this aid could be delayed.

Congress has only funded programs like Race to the Top and Promise Neighborhoods through December 31, leaving them without funding beyond that.

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