08/01/2011 07:13 pm ET | Updated Oct 01, 2011

Debt Ceiling Deal: Big Questions For K-12

As a vote nears in Congress to lift the federal debt ceiling and stave off a financial default, education advocates are just beginning to take stock of what this will mean for K-12 education. And it's not at all clear.

According to news reports and congressional documents, the deal places 10-year caps on federal spending, including a $7 billion reduction in fiscal 2012 spending below current levels. (Fiscal 2012 starts on Oct. 1.) It would create a new congressional committee charged with finding $1.5 trillion in cuts over the next 10 years. If the committee doesn't do that, failure would trigger automatic cuts, or "sequestration" of funds across most agencies.

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