News / USA

US Education Chief Warns Against Cuts

U.S. President Barack Obama reads a card during a game with children in a per-kindergarten classroom at College Heights early childhood learning center in Decatur, Georgia, February 14, 2013.
U.S. President Barack Obama reads a card during a game with children in a per-kindergarten classroom at College Heights early childhood learning center in Decatur, Georgia, February 14, 2013.
Kent Klein
Education Secretary Arne Duncan is the latest in a series of Obama administration officials to make ominous predictions about the effects of the so-called sequester.

He told reporters Wednesday that political bickering over the automatic $85 billion budget cuts is putting the U.S. education system at a competitive disadvantage.

“So while we are having this conversation about fewer teachers, fewer school days, less opportunities to go to Head Start, less ability to pay for college, other nations, this is not how they are looking to improve their education system," Duncan said. "This is not the conversation that is happening with our competitors in Singapore, in South Korea, in China, in India.”

Education Secretary Arne Duncan, seen here last month in Washington, warns the looming sequester will hurt the nation's schoolchildren.Education Secretary Arne Duncan, seen here last month in Washington, warns the looming sequester will hurt the nation's schoolchildren.
x
Education Secretary Arne Duncan, seen here last month in Washington, warns the looming sequester will hurt the nation's schoolchildren.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan, seen here last month in Washington, warns the looming sequester will hurt the nation's schoolchildren.
Duncan said lawmakers should instead be focusing on improving early education, college graduation rates, and school security.

“For us to be thinking about taking steps backwards in all of these areas because folks in Washington cannot get their act together, and a level of dysfunction in Congress that, it is just like unimaginable to me," he said. "I cannot tell you how troubling that is to me, and frankly, how angry it makes me feel.”

Duncan’s appearance at the White House briefing follows those by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. 

President Obama went to the shipbuilding city of Newport News, Virginia on Tuesday to warn the budget reductions could erode U.S. defense readiness.

The president will discuss the sequester Friday in a White House meeting with top Republicans House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, as well as Democrats Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

The meeting takes place several hours after government budgets are to be slashed.

“He [Obama] hopes that they will have a constructive discussion about doing something to prevent sequestration from causing the kinds of impacts that Secretary Duncan just described to you,” said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney.

The meeting will be the president’s first with congressional leaders since late last year.

Obama has been calling for a mix of budget cuts and tax increases to help reduce the federal deficit.

Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader McConnell, say they will hold firm against higher taxes and insist on cutting the deficit by reducing spending.

“When the president goes off on a campaign for higher taxes instead of working with Republicans to replace the sequester with smarter cuts, and when Senate Democrats put forward tax hike gimmicks instead of negotiating serious spending cut solutions, Americans feel like they are not being listened to,” McConnell said.

Senate Democrats are proposing legislation this week to delay the automatic cuts until the end of the year. Republicans are certain to defeat the measure.

You May Like

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid