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Sequester could prompt Texas education cuts

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TYLER (KYTX) - The $85 billion in federal cuts across the board, also known as the sequester, are supposed to kick in Friday evening.

The White House says budget cuts could equal nearly a $68 million funding loss for Texas education. 

Those cuts could hit all types of schools and grade levels in Texas, including colleges. About 4,720 low income students wouldn't be able come to college because of cuts in financial aid. 

"You're re-writing someone's future for them. It's tragic," says Tyler parent, Brenda Stratton. She says Texas education already saw devastating cuts during the last state legislative session.

"We already have too many kids in the classroom!"

She says losing another $67.8 million could cause irreparable long term damage.

"It will be devastating to all of us," Stratton said. "Our kids deserve better than that."

If these cuts were to kick in about 4,800 Texas children would be eliminated from Head Start programs. Also, $51 million could be cut to 620 teachers and aides who work with children with disabilities

"My sister was handicapped," Stratton said.

She says special ed kids need the most help right now.

"How truly can any of us walk into a school with children who are already under-served and give them less? It's really morally wrong." she said.

Her disappointment lies with the men and women in Washington, and says if they won't do their job, citizens need to step in.

"I think we all have an obligation as citizens to reach out to our elected officials and encourage them to come together for the greater good," she said.

Stratton hopes even if cuts do kick in, congress will continue to work toward a solution that would maintain the quality of education for Texans and all Americans.

The $85 billion in federal cuts were meant to be so harsh that congress wouldn't let them happen, but still, on the day of the deadline, no deal has been reached and congress isn't even in session - so apparently, it is happening.

Experts believe it will be weeks before these so called effects could kick in, but a lot of people don't think we will be that deeply affected by the sequester.

Another state department that will be hard hit -- defense. About 52,000 state department of defense employees would be furloughed, reducing gross pay by around $274.8 million in total. There would also be added cuts to the Army and Air Force.

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