Schools Could See Direct, Indirect Impact From Shutdown

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Classes in Greater Houston are still in session. But experts say even a short term government shutdown could impact schools.

 

If you’ve tried calling the U.S. Department of Education you probably heard this

“We regret that we are unable to answer your call at this time. The department will return to normal operations as soon as funding is restored.”

The U.S. Department of Education is just one of many federal agencies closed because of the government shutdown.

Reggie Felton is with the National School Boards Association.

He says the shutdown could impact schools directly and indirectly.

“Will schools shut their doors because of that this year? No, But there will be the spinoff impact for next year of how they operate. So, it’s a very complicated but tragic system for our students.”

Melissa Marschall at Rice University says the good news is public schools already have the bulk of their federal money for the whole school year.

But she also sees unexpected ripple effects.

For example, if the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is closed, who will monitor diseases in schools?

Or what about students planning a field trip to Washington, DC?

“You might think that as minor, but for the students themselves if they didn’t get to go to their Washington, D.C. field trip could make a big difference for them.”

Of course a student field trip to the nation’s capital right now could offer a totally new lesson in U.S. government.

Bio photo of Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for KUHF, including K-12 and higher education.

Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and regularly contributed to WLRN, the local NPR affiliate and Miami Herald news partner...