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Arne Duncan: GOP's proposed education cuts 'makes no sense'

Arne Duncan: GOP's proposed education cuts 'makes no sense'
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Education Secretary Arne DuncanArne Starkey DuncanObama Education Secretary: US education system is 'top 10 in nothing' Obama Cabinet official: Trump doesn’t want educated workforce Obama Education secretary: DeVos's yacht set adrift a 'crazy metaphor' for her policy MORE on Tuesday lambasted congressional Republicans for their proposals to cut education funding across grade levels next year.

“At every level, whether it’s early childhood or K-12 or higher education, [there are] very key significant programs they would cut or outright eliminate. That simply makes no sense to me whatsoever,” Duncan said in a video message.

Duncan initially applauded the progress made on rising high school graduation rates and lower dropout rates, but said the GOP could hamper that pattern.

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“Unfortunately, we have Republicans in both the House and the Senate in Congress who are talking about cutting education funding by literally billions of dollars from what the president is proposing,” he said.

Under their proposals, Duncan said, early childhood education programs, programs for inner-city and tribal communities and higher education innovation programs would be slashed.

The Senate’s proposed legislation, which also funds the departments of Labor and Health and Human Services, would provide the Education Department next year with $1.7 billion below current levels.

In the House, Republicans are proposing to cut the Education Department's budget even further — $2.8 billion below current levels.

Sequestration budget caps that are scheduled to return Oct. 1 are tying appropriators’ hands in their allocations of the 12 spending bills for next year.

Democrats insist Republicans should come to the negotiating table now to strike a deal that lifts those spending caps before the possibility of a government shutdown.