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Sequester cuts could hit schools hard

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Albany/HV: Sequester cuts could hit schools hard
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Politicians in Washington, D.C. continue to debate the automatic spending cuts set to take effect the end of this week. Lori Chung has more on groups that could be hard hit.

NEW YORK STATE -- "The last of the three legs, the federal dollars is going to be pulled back and the impact has got to be devastating," said NYSUT President Dick Ianuzzi.

Already hampered by state cuts and a two percent property cap, NYSUT President Dick Ianuzzi says school districts will be forced to make tough choices should sequester cuts become a reality.

Ianuzzi said, "Across the country, it could be upwards of 20,000 educators without any trouble at all.”

According to the White House, nearly 600 teaching jobs could be lost in New York and where services are concerned, education leaders say students will suffer the most.

"This is for programs ranging from head start to special education to funding that goes specifically to the poorest schools in the state,” said Bill Easton, Executive Director of Alliance for Quality Education.

About $42.7 million in education funding is on the line in Washington's latest budget battle. New York's largest teacher's union is ramping up their efforts before the March 1st deadline.

Ianuzzi said, "I would not be surprised if we wind up having to put together a lobbying trip to Washington."

Other education leaders are urging the same.

"Parents should be concerned about picking up the phone and calling their congressman or congresswoman and telling them go to the table and negotiate with the president to keep these cuts from happening," Easton said.

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