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Muskogee Public School Officials Look For Ways To Save

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Muskogee Public Schools is asking the community for money saving ideas. Muskogee Public Schools is asking the community for money saving ideas.
"It's called the collective genius, get everybody involved as much as possible. All this great thinking, together we might come up with a really good solution that helps us accomplish," said Superintendent Mike Garde. "It's called the collective genius, get everybody involved as much as possible. All this great thinking, together we might come up with a really good solution that helps us accomplish," said Superintendent Mike Garde.
The district is implementing a lot of cost saving measures. Not filling vacant positions, early retirement bonuses for support staff and the Go Green campaign, which has saved $74,000 so far this year. The district is implementing a lot of cost saving measures. Not filling vacant positions, early retirement bonuses for support staff and the Go Green campaign, which has saved $74,000 so far this year.

By Craig Day, The News On 6

MUSKOGEE, OK -- In light of the state's budget shortfall, schools across Oklahoma are looking for ways to save. It's a tough task, so Muskogee Public Schools is asking the community for money saving ideas.

Like all districts, Muskogee is trying to work through the state's budget crunch and a five percent cut in funding.

"Makes us begin to prepare for about a million dollar shortfall," said Mike Garde, Muskogee Superintendent.

The district is implementing a lot of cost saving measures. Not filling vacant positions, early retirement bonuses for support staff and the Go Green campaign, which has saved $74,000 so far this year. The campaign includes things like fewer lights on in hallways, or turned off when classrooms aren't used, turning off refrigeration to some water fountains and charging an electricity fee for teachers with refrigerators in their classrooms.

"You take each one of those small schools that make up $5,000 or $6,000 and we're at $74,000 here, and it's really not impacting kids," said Wayne Johnson, MPS Maintenance Director.

Muskogee is taking it to another level, asking employees and the public for money saving ideas. People can go to the school's web site to submit ideas or weigh in on previous suggestions.

"It's called the collective genius, get everybody involved as much as possible. All this great thinking, together we might come up with a really good solution that helps us accomplish," said Superintendent Mike Garde.

One idea is to use volunteers as gatekeepers and ticket takers at sporting events next year, saving $40,000. So far, 85 ideas have been submitted for consideration for this school year or next year.

"It doesn't matter that they are small. Small things impact things a little less, but a lot of small little things that don't impact much, still add up," said Superintendent Mike Garde.

School leaders weigh the pros and cons, and as long as it doesn't impact the quality of education, the ideas are passed on to the school board for a final ok.

Muskogee Public Schools is holding a public meeting Monday night to go over the ideas that have been submitted and for anyone to bring up new ideas. It's at 6:30 p.m. at the school board meeting room on Broadway downtown.

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