Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Education Secretary Arne Duncan weighs in on supercommittee failure: School programs at risk

The failure of the here today, gone tomorrow congressional supercommittee could lead to drastic cuts to education programs nationwide, according to U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

This week, the bipartisan supercommittee -- formally known as the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction -- announced that it had failed to combat the country's $15 trillion debt.

"I join the President in his disappointment that the supercommittee has failed to reach a final deal," Duncan said in a statement. "We must reduce America's debt. But we must do so in a thoughtful and deliberate way that protects national priorities like education at such a critical time. Because the supercommittee failed to live up to its responsibility, education programs that affect young Americans across the country now face across-the-board cuts.

"We need to ensure that every child has access to a good teacher and a high quality public education, and that students who want to pursue a college degree can count on federal loans and grants to help them achieve their dreams," he added. "That requires Congress to do some important work in the coming weeks and to show some real leadership. I stand ready to work with them, and I know the President does as well."

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