RALEIGH (WTVD) --Education leaders say they could lose qualified teachers and millions of dollars. Republican lawmakers say what the federal government is doing is illegal.
Republican Senator Phil Berger has strong doubts the feds will strip an estimated $4.5 billion in education funding from North Carolina.
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"They are a long ways from being able to do what they claim can be done," Berger said.
The state department of public instruction says, this school year, it received more than $1 billion in federal money. The UNC system received a similar amount last school year.
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Top Republican lawmakers are considering legal action against the Obama Administration.
"We do not believe that they have the legal right to do that and we're talking with lawyers and working on possible responses," Berger said.
The Department of Justice says House Bill 2 violates federal civil rights laws and cannot be enforced. House Bill 2 has been condemned as an anti-transgender, anti LGBT worker law.
Read all ABC11 stories about HB2 here
Education leaders said they believe HB2 ultimately hurts students - especially if millions of federal dollars are taken away.
Mark Jewell with NC Association of Educators said no federal money means fewer teachers hired, larger classroom sizes, and programs for homeless students and children with disabilities will suffer.
"Our job is to keep every child safe, free of discrimination," Newell said. "It is our job and responsibility regardless of who they are or what gender they identify with that we keep every child safe."
Both lawmakers and leading educators agree that teacher raises would not be impacted by federal cuts. That funding comes from the state legislature.
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