UPDATED AASA Fiscal Cliff Toolkit: Supports Report Detailing Uneven Impact of Sequester

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UPDATED FEBRUARY 5: This blog post includes an updated sequestration invoice.

AASA created this toolkit in tandem with our recent Economic Impact report, Federal Public Education Revenues and the Sequester, to help school districts and education stakeholders raise awareness about the true local impacts of the looming cuts of the fiscal cliff and sequester.

URGENT Call to Action: With fiscal cliff negotiations ongoing, it is more important than ever raise awareness of the impact of the sequester on education. Given the extremely local nature of this data, AASA was able to create a ready-to-use Opinion/Editorial (Op/Ed) letter, Letter to the Editor, letters for communicating with Congress, and an invoice and draft letter to quantify and qualify the impact of the sequester on your district.

Please take advantage of these resources. We ask AASA members to work with local media outlets and sources to get this word out!

Data and Maps: The following excel spreadsheets detail (one state per page, 10 pages per file) the share of federal, state and local dollars for every school district in the nation. You can look up your district to see the role of federal dollars in your operating budget. Each file contains LEA data for the state abbreviations in the title. 


  • UPDATED: Fiscal Cliff Invoice: All you need is your current Title I, IDEA, Title II and Career/Tech funding levels. Plug them in to this excel spreadsheet, and it does the rest, calculating the cuts at 5.3% level (as projected by the COB). Save the updated spreadsheet and share it with your Congressional delegation, letting them see how the cuts would impact your district.
    • ‘How To’ guide to completing the spreadsheet and template letter (PDF)
    • AASA’s Fiscal Cliff Invoice (excel)
    • AASA’s Customizable Fiscal Cliff Letter (word)
  • Media Tools
    • Sample Opinion/Editorial: Customize this letter, using data from the local analysis above and the fiscal cliff invoice. Get the word out to local blogs, radio and news stations, and newspapers!
    • Sample Letter to the Editor: Used in conjunction with the Fiscal Cliff Invoice (which quantifies the cuts of the sequester) this letter ‘tells the story’ of the sequester, letting you detail jobs that will be lost, programs that will be eliminated, and the impact on students.
  • Fiscal Cliff Toolkit FAQ

 Additional AASA Sequestration Resources:

  • Sequestration & the Schools (Audio Ppt): These slides are a great overview of sequestration, what it is, how we got here, how it will impact schools, and what you can do.
  • Cut Deep: How the Sequester Will Impact the Nation’s Schools: AASA’s July 2012 report looking at how schools are bracing for sequestration and how they rate the quality/quantity of information about sequestration that they have access to.
  • AASA/NAFIS Report: Sequestration and Impact Aid; AASA partnered with NAFIS to highlight the effect sequestration will have on Impact Aid, the lone K-12 federal education program that will be cut in the middle of the current school year.
  • AASA Response to Administration's Sequestration Transparency Report
  • Webinars:
  • Impact on Advance Funded Programs: An AASA blog post clarifies how the cuts would impact those federal education programs (like Title I and IDEA) that are advance funded. This post has been updated to reflect guidance issued by the Department in late July.
  • Other Resources
    • Impact of Sequestration on Federal Education Programs (NEA): National Education Association released a detailed analysis of how the sequester will impact education programs. Each page includes a calculation for the dollar amount that would be cut, the number of students that would be impacted, the potential job losses, and identifies a comparable funding year (almost all are pre-recession levels).  They also produced a state-by-state analysis.