On September 30th, Congress failed to agree on a spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year, sending the United States government into its first shutdown in 17 years.
The shutdown, put in place due to the disagreement between Republicans and Democrats over the inclusion of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, in the spending plan. Both sides refused to yield, and continue to stand divided on the issue on the second day of the shutdown.
Beyond Washington, D.C., the government shutdown is affecting life in the Twin Cities. All “non-essential” federal employees have been furloughed, leaving many without pay. National Parks sites have been closed, and offices like the Social Security office has been reduced to the most basic services.
The shutdown is affecting the school systems as well. The Department of Education released their contingency plan for the shutdown, which includes furloughing 90% of its employees. While students in schools like South High School won’t immediately feel any negative effects of the shutdown, the Department of Education wrote in their contingency plan that “beyond the first week of a lapse, our planning generally contemplates a continuation of those minimal, skeletal functions.” K-12 funding given through Title I and other federal grants will still be distributed through the first week of October, but its future is unclear beyond that.
Check back for updates as the story progresses.