TULSA, Okla. — The Tulsa Public Schools Board of Education voted to table its decision on cutting 174 positions in the district.
The district gave a two-hour presentation discussing its recommended job cuts. Then, the board went into a two-hour executive session discussing the cuts before coming out and voting to table it. The board was given the recommendations only 24 hours before Thursday nights meeting.
Of the 174 positions possibly being eliminated, 77 are staffed with either essential or non-essential employees. One of the biggest topics of the night is the 64 custodial positions that would be eliminated as the employee retires or leaves the district. TPS plans to create 79 custodial positions, but they would be on a 10-month contract, not the current 12-month contract. They would also be making less money. The American Federation of Teachers union, which represents the custodians, says the district never discussed the plan with them.
The Tulsa Classroom Teacher's Association Union says they’re upset with many of the decisions being proposed by the district, but especially the custodial one. TCTA says they gave recommendation on who they thought should be part of the cuts. TCTA disagrees with the districts recommendation to delete custodian positions through attrition.
“So, we have now cut the salaries of some of the people who make the least amount in our district," said Shawna Mott-Wright, vice president of TCTA. "We’ve cut them more? And they’re going to be able to provide less services to schools? That is not who we were talking about.”
110 of the positions proposed to be cut would end on July 1.
The board also tabled its vote to create new positions that would replace some of those being cut.
The board will hold another special meeting Tuesday, Feb. 18 to again discuss and maybe vote on these cuts.
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