Sequestration under the Budget Control Act of 2011 - Frequently Asked Questions

The following are commonly asked questions regarding Sequestration under the Budget Control Act of 2011.

Q1: What is budget sequester?

A1: A budget sequester is when money that would otherwise be spent under current law is held back and is used instead for deficit reduction.


Q2: When does the Budget Control Act's deficit reduction sequestration take effect?

A2: The budget cut does not go into effect until January 2, 2013.


Q3: Will sequestration affect the 2012-2013 school year?

A3: No. The effect of sequestration will begin with the funding for the 2013-2014 school year. However, LEAs that receive funding under the Impact Aid program could have reduced Impact Aid funds for the 2012-2013 school year.


Q4: Does sequestration only affect fiscal year 2013?

A4: No. The Budget Control Act requires sufficient spending cuts to achieve $1.2 trillion of deficit reduction over nine years (fiscal years 2013-2021).


Q5: What is exempt from sequestration?

A5: A preliminary list of exempt programs is available at


Q6: How much discretion does the President have concerning how sequestration is applied across agency budgets?

A6: The President does not have discretion to vary the size of the cut to agency budgets.


Q7: Is there a waiver?

A7: There is no waiver of the deficit reduction sequester. The only option for changing it would be to enact legislation to amend the Act.

Last updated on August 29, 2012