Friday, July 10, 2020
US flag

Federal government shutdown in 3rd day

Congress adjourned Sunday without voting on a federal budget, despite getting a good start on a bipartisan deal, so the federal government shutdown, which began Saturday, will continue through at least noon today, when Congress reconvenes, the New York Times reports.

Democrats, especially, want to ensure proper consideration for new laws to replace DACA before approving any stopgap spending bill. “We want to see a commitment to take up immigration,” the Times quoted Senator Tim Kaine, Democrat of Virginia, as saying, “with a belief that we’ll get to a good result for Dreamers.”

A plan is in the works, as senators from both parties have signaled an interest in immigration reform during this Congress. But right now, the situation is frantic and promises might have to take the place of actual votes on anything but the spending measure.

During a shutdown, no new money can be spent, so some federal workers will be furloughed and their jobs won’t get done. But other spending—that which is provided for by law rather than appropriation—will continue to flow.

This means, for example, that some classes or athletic contests might get cancelled at, say, the nation’s five military-service academies. Civilian staff and faculty members at those institutions might also be required to stay home.

In addition, some government websites might not be updated, so students completing their federal student aid applications online will be able to continue working, but help might not be readily available from the government if they need any.

As long as the shutdown doesn’t drag on too long, most funding for schools will continue to flow, because it is not subject to new appropriations. However, some entitlement programs, such as Title II, may experience a temporary lapse or delay in funding during a longer shutdown, as staff members responsible for processing those funds for schools could be furloughed.

US Education Secretary Betsy DeVos issued a memo last year, advising the department what would happen in the event of a shutdown, and since a shutdown did occur, the department can be expected to follow through, furloughing some 90 percent of its staff of more than 3,500.

A protracted delay in Department obligations and payments beyond one week would severely curtail the cash flow to school districts, colleges and universities and vocational rehabilitation agencies that depend on the Department’s funds to support their services. For example, many school districts receive more than 20 percent of their funds from Department-funded programs. … Under a shutdown, the likely disruption to Department grant programs will be a potential delay in activities necessary to make competitive and formula grant awards later in the fiscal year. For the most part, these employees will be furloughed. In addition, citizens and institutions seeking specific information regarding the impact of a shutdown will have limited access to information.

Peer-review committees now providing feedback and approving states’ Every Student Succeeds Act plans also won’t be able to conduct any business. The approval process has already rubber stamped Maryland’s plan, and it will resume when the shutdown ends.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

Recent posts

Voxitatis congratulates the COVID Class of 2020

2020 is unique and, for high school graduates, different from anything they've seen. Proms, spring sports, & many graduation ceremonies are cancelled. Time for something new.

Vertical addition (m3.nbt.2) math practice

3rd grade, numbers and operations in base 10, 2, 3-digit vertical addition practice problem

Rubber ducks (m3.oa.1) math practice

3rd grade, operational and algebraic thinking, 1, rubber ducky modeling practice problem

Distance learning begins as Covid-19 thrives

What we learn during & from coronavirus, a challenging & imminent crisis, will provide insights into so many aspects of our lives.

Calif. h.s. choir sings with social distancing

Performances with the assistance of technology can spread inspiration across the globe even as the coronavirus spreads illness and disease.

Families plan to stay healthy during closures

Although schools are doing what they can to keep students learning and healthy during the coronavirus outbreak, that duty now shifts to parents.

Illinois temporarily closes all schools

IL schools will be closed on Tuesday, March 17, through at least March 30. Schools in 18 states are now closed due to coronavirus.

Coronavirus closures & cancellations

Many schools are closed and sports tournaments cancelled across America during what the president called a national emergency: coronavirus.

Coronavirus closes schools in Seattle

The coronavirus pandemic has caused colleges to cancel classes, and now Seattle Public Schools became the nation's first large district to cancel classes due to the virus.

Most detailed images ever of the sun

A new telescope at the National Solar Observatory snapped the most detailed pictures of the sun's surface we have ever seen.

Feds boost Bay funding

Restoration efforts in the Chesapeake Bay watershed received a boost in federal funding in the budget Congress passed last month.