Education Secretary Arne Duncan warned Sunday that thousands of teachers around the country could lose their jobs as a result of the automatic across-the-board spending cuts slated to begin Friday, barring action by lawmakers.
"As many of 40,000 teachers could lose their jobs," Duncan warned on CBS News' "Face The Nation." "There are literally teachers now who are getting pink slips, who are getting notices they can't come back this fall."
Duncan argued that there was virtually nothing he could do to shield essential education programs from the federal spending cuts, which are set to begin Friday, if lawmakers don't act to avert them.
"We don't have any ability with dumb cuts like this to figure out what the right thing to do is. It just means that a lot more children will not get the kinds of services and opportunities they need," Duncan said.