Superintendents across the state said a 10 percent budget cuts means they will be forced to layoff dozens of teachers.
Norman Public Schools Superintendent Joe Siano said his district could layoff as many as 40 first-year teachers as a result of the cuts.
By Dave Jordan, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY -- School superintendents from across the state said they will have no choice but to lay off teachers if the proposed 10 percent budget cuts take place.
"It will be mostly targeted at our zero-step teachers any reductions that we have to make," said Joe Siano, Norman Public Schools Superintendent.
Siano said Norman Public Schools could cut as many as 40 first-year teachers as part of a 10 percent budget cuts proposed by the state legislature.
Siano made the announcement at the State Board of Education meeting Thursday.
Siano is anticipating a $3.5 million reduction, $1.2 million of which will come from salary cuts. As many as 180 people in the school system could lose their jobs, Siano said.
Putnam City Public Schools officials said their belt tightening is already underway. The operations budget stands at $120 million, but this year, the state cut nearly $3 million in aid. The proposed 10 percent cut would amount to about $5.7 million, which would also translate into layoffs.
"I'm anticipating 45 fewer certified employees, counselors, teachers, library media specialists," said Paul Hurst, Putnam City Public Schools Superintendent.
Six school district leaders took their concerns to the State School Board Meeting Thursday morning, which lead the board to adopt a resolution asking that Gov. Brad Henry's recommended revenue enhancements be signed into law to minimize the short and long term damage to the state education system.
"Education is so important. That is the future of our state. If we don't have an education society we might as well fold up our tent," said State Superintendent Sandy Garrett.
Revenue Enhancement would include temporarily repealing tax breaks given to businesses and companies and putting that money toward education. Henry proposed the idea during the State of the State address.
State Superintendent Garrett said she plans to personally take the resolution over to the capital on the next legislative day.
Legislators proposed the cuts to education as a means of closing a $1 billion shortfall.
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