Booker T. Washington Foundation for Excellence to make unprecedented donation

Posted at 5:16 AM, Jun 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-30 10:30:21-04

Following a year of budget cuts and district teacher rebalancing, Booker T. Washington High School stands to enter the 2016-2017 school year down 10 teaching positions. The Booker T. Washington Foundation for Excellence, however, plans to change that.

As it does every year, Tulsa Public Schools shifts teachers around the district based on enrollment. For Booker T. Washington High School, that means the loss of 10.4 teachers, according to the district.

The loss in teachers results in increased class sizes for the school's core classes, including math, science and social studies, according the foundation's spokeswoman Rebecca Marks Jimerson.

"Tulsa can't grow without having the future if they're not academically trained and able to study at colleges and universities across the nation and state," she said. "I mean, what are we saying?"

To combat this, Marks Jimerson says the foundation will empty its coffers and donate $150,000 to save four of the teaching positions lost to other schools.

The money, she says, is a short-term solution and will last only through the 2016-2017 school year.

"We are sending that message that academics, that's what the legacy of this school is all about. We want to continue it," she explained.

The district says that once it receives the donation, the positions will be funded and added back to Booker T.

The official donation announcement is scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday.

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