Oklahoma could lose 160 teachers in budget cuts


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Updated: 2/25/2013 3:20 pm Published: 2/25/2013 3:19 pm


The White House says 160 Oklahoma teachers could lose their jobs because of the budget cuts in Washington, D.C.

Tens of billions of dollars in budget cuts kick in on Friday if Congress does not stop the sequestering.

Area principals told FOX23’s Scott McFarlane they’re going take a hit if that happens.

Local V.A. Hospital workers are also protesting, saying they will lose their jobs. Firefighters and police officers did the same thing as talks to stop the cuts reached a freeze.

Now, school principals are the latest group to speak up, saying the federal government’s budget crisis will take an axe to local schools. They say it could lead to teacher furloughs and possibly larger class sizes for students as early as next year.

“Common sense tells us the fewer kids we have per teacher the better the teacher will be with those 20 kids instead of with 30 kids,” said Phil Smith, Lawton school principal.

Both political parties blame each other for the talks breaking down. $85 billion in cuts are set to sweep across the government, from the military, to public health programs, to schools.

Critics say the White House is exaggerating the impact of the 3% cut in government spending hoping to scare Americans.

McFarlane asked the White House Press Secretary if that was the case, “We have to inform the American people what might happen, what will happen, if Congress refuses to do the right thing here. These aren't scare tactics these are facts.” Said Jay Carney.

There are supporters of these budget cuts who would like to see the government save the teaching jobs but cut more from spending.

“We're in a fiscal crisis… we're facing a lot of red ink and too little willingness to address it. This seems to be just half of a first step," says Gene Healy, author of “The Cult of the Presidency.”

Elementary school principals from Oklahoma will canvass Capitol Hill on Tuesday and urge local legislators to resume negotiations to stop these cuts.

Congressional staffers tell McFarlane as of now there are no negotiations scheduled before the March 1st deadline.


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