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Tulsa Teacher Calls Non-Renewal Notice 'Heartbreaking'

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The district will have to cut jobs unless state funding comes through. The district will have to cut jobs unless state funding comes through.
"I found the position and the place I want to be in my life," Molina said. "It breaks my heart. "I found the position and the place I want to be in my life," Molina said. "It breaks my heart.
"We are losing really good teachers with this allocation," Dr. Keith Ballard, Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent, said. "We are losing really good teachers with this allocation," Dr. Keith Ballard, Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent, said.

By Tara Vreeland, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Tulsa Public Schools is giving 286 teachers "non-renewal notices" this week.

The school district says they weren't left with much choice. The News On 6 spoke with one teacher Friday who was handed one of those non-renewal notices who says she isn't angry with the district.

"The uncertainty of it is the hardest part," Megan Molina, a 2nd grade teacher, said.

Everything was falling into place for Megan Molina. The single mother bought her first house after she started her dream job in January of 2009.

"It's the job I wanted to do," Molina said. "I love what I do."

And it's still what she would love to do. But it most likely won't be with Tulsa Public Schools.

"My principal received an e-mail so she called us into her office one by one to let us know," she said.

Molina was one of four teachers to learn their temporary contracts would not be renewed come next school year.

"It was... everybody was pretty upset," Molina said. "Most of us were crying the rest of the day because all of us really love being at the school."

"We are losing really good teachers with this allocation," Dr. Keith Ballard, TPS Superintendent, said. "We hired the best crop of first year teachers than anybody can remember in recent history and we have excellent teachers out there."

Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Keith Ballard says a percentage of those teachers will be hired back, but the worst case scenario would be cutting 225 positions.

"We can handle a smaller teaching force than what we have had," Dr. Ballard said. "But 225 is still too many."

The district will have to cut those jobs unless state funding comes through.

The legislature is still working on the budget but districts have to notify teachers by June 1 if they're not going to work next year.

"I found the position and the place I want to be in my life," Molina said. "It breaks my heart. And I know I'm not the only one out there with that many people getting cut that are heartbroken."

The school district offered teachers incentives to retire. But so far only about 100 teachers have taken the offer.

5/13/2010 Related Story: Tulsa Public Schools Hands Out 'Non-Renewal Notices' To 286 Teachers

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