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Fairchild families upset sequester cuts hitting school

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. - Military families in Spokane are now bracing for cuts to their children's education as part of the sequester, and spoke out about the cuts at a roundtable held by U.S. Senator Patty Murray.

It is a stressful time for the parents, teachers and administrators as right now everything is very up in the air, but they all say these cuts will have a significant impact on military kids and their future.

When it's reading time at Michael Anderson Elementary the preschoolers sit on the classroom carpet and put on their listening ears. On Tuesday they had a special guest for reading time, U.S. Senator Patty Murray.

"I completely enjoyed reading a book today to young kids," she said.

Fairchild sequester roundtable

But she wasn't just there to read. She was also there to listen to military families talk about their sequester concerns.

"It is real, it is coming, it will impact military families in the community," Murray said.

The cuts could be significant. The Medical Lake School District might have to slash 10-percent of their budget, or $480,000. The hardest hit school?  Michael Anderson Elementary aboard Fairchild Air Force Base.

"It's concerning and it's disappointing on a certain level," parent Molly Stapleton said.

The school's special education, Title One programs and their preschool could all be impacted. The learning specialist could also be eliminated

Fairchild's child development center would also feel the sequestration cuts and 10 teachers could be furloughed. Their reduction in hours would affect 76 families, something that Fairchild families said isn't fair.

"To have those benefits either cut back or removed entirely you kind of feel a little betrayed by that because it's something that has been promised to you and you sign on the bottom line and that's what you are signing for," Stapleton said.

Now it's a waiting game. Sen. Murray said the Senate passed a budget that addresses these cuts but the House has yet to pass one. The school district hopes Congress can help them out and make up for the sequester cuts.