Tulsa Public Schools board members weigh options during Wednesday meeting for budget cuts

Tulsa Public Schools
Posted at 4:34 PM, Apr 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-06 14:08:52-04

TULSA -- Board members for Tulsa Public Schools met Wednesday night to discuss major budget cut reductions for the 2017-2018 school year.

The top items up for debate were closing schools, cutting transportation, and even cutting school security.

RELATED: Tulsa Public schools budget expected to be cut by $12M for 2017-2018 school year

Dr. Sylvia Chandler is a counselor at McLain High School and said $12 million dollars cut from Tulsa Schools will hurt the entire district. 

“I do believe that our students and the lower-level teachers will be the ones that struggle with these decisions,” said Dr. Chandler.

The school board presented a plan that could save the district $12.4 million dollars. Officials said the district could save more than $9 million dollars by closing the Remington and Park Elementary schools and ECDC Porter, and moving all of their students to the Clinton Middle School campus. They said Clinton Middle School students would go to the Webster High School Campus.

“This is a very very difficult recommendation. We do believe this is going to provide extra access for programming to students,” said Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Deborah Gist.

Another tough break would be district-wide furloughs. Officials said two days would save the district $1.9 million dollars.

“We know that the exact opposite is what is what we ought to be doing. We ought to be increasing salaries for our teachers. This is  a very perverse situation that we are unfortunately in because of lack of funding from the state,” said Dr. Gist.

Doctor Chandler said not getting paid for two days is something she can’t afford.

“That could be somebody’s mortgage, in my instance that could be four or five car loans. That’s money that I don’t have to pay bills that I need to make,” said Dr. Chandler.

Officials also talked about cutting athletics, district office jobs and teachers, but the board did not take any action. They’ll meet again on the 17th. 

Last year, the Tulsa Public Schools funding was cut by 9%, which equals about $6.7 million.

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