Millions at stake for Oklahoma education if sequester takes affect
10:27 PM, Feb 25, 2013
4:34 AM, Feb 26, 2013
TULSA - Millions of dollars in federal funding for education are on the line in Oklahoma if the sequester takes affect this Friday.
Special needs students could take the biggest hit.
Approximately $12 million in education funding could disappear in Oklahoma.
Federal budget cuts across the board have parents like Deann Richmond wondering how much more public schools can take.
"I'm thinking an education crisis, you know. What's that mean for our kids in the future?" Richmond said.
Deann's daughter Chelsea has a slight case of autism and takes special needs classes.
Special needs funding stands to lose the most federal funding -- $7.3 million.
"They could easily slip through the cracks, and that would hinder their education," Richmond said.
Hundreds of teaching jobs hang in the balance.
"We've already suffered such huge cuts over the last few years. Something like $300 million. So it's just been constant cutting of the education budget," said Lynn Stockley, president of the Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association.
Stockley say Tulsa Public Schools avoided major teacher layoffs over the last few years. But as teachers retire, they're not being replaced.
"It's not even a matter of keeping up. It's a matter of losing ground even more than we already have," Stockley said.