Bus routes at some TPS schools could be cut in order to save teaching positons

TULSA - Tulsa Public School officials are looking at the possibility of cutting some bus routes in order to save teaching positions.

The bus routes would only be cut at the magnet schools in the district.

Carver Middle School is one of 13 such schools that students come from all over the city to attend.

The magnet program attracts diversity and that's why parents like it.

"It's very important to us, that we had kids from all over Tulsa; that it represents the real world. When you go out and work in the workforce you don't just work with the people in your neighborhood," said Carver parent Beth Delancy.

Parents like Delancy say you could lose what makes the schools special if you take away the 28 bus routes to the 13 magnet schools.

Delancy says next year she'll have two daughters who will need to take the bus, but if they're not available she'll try to make it work.

"There's other families that can't do that," Delancy said.

District officials say it's just one of the options they're considering, but not because they want to, because they have to.

"We start cutting programs like the magnet programs, I mean it will be devastating for our district," said TPS chief information officer Ben Stout.

Seventy-five teaching positions could be eliminated if the state doesn't approve more funding for education.

"It is going to impact services, we're going to have to look to fill those positions from other areas," said Stout.

In order to save some teaching positions the magnet bus routes are being considered.
    
Cutting magnet school buses would save about $700,000. It equals 16 teaching positions.

"I love that TPS is looking at every cost, I love that they are leaving no stone unturned," said Delancy. She also said all the hard work could be put to better use with better state funding.

"Instead of focusing on how we're building our programs and what we could be doing better, we're wasting all of this effort," Delancy said.

TPS officials will make a final decision about the bus routes in a few weeks when the state budget is complete. They could also be looking at other services.

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