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36 People Laid Off from Oklahoma City Public Schools Staff

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The $17 million that Oklahoma City Public Schools must cut forced the Oklahoma City Superintendent Karl Springer to terminate 36 employees in the district Tuesday. The $17 million that Oklahoma City Public Schools must cut forced the Oklahoma City Superintendent Karl Springer to terminate 36 employees in the district Tuesday.
While over 100 positions will be eliminated, because of retirements and resignations Springer said he expects the actual number of first year teachers to get cut will be in the 30s. While over 100 positions will be eliminated, because of retirements and resignations Springer said he expects the actual number of first year teachers to get cut will be in the 30s.

By Colleen Chen, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Central office employees for Oklahoma City Public Schools began receiving termination letters Tuesday. OKCPS district leaders have sent letters to 36 employees.

The cuts include central office personnel from Information Technology, Finance, Special Education, Athletics, Communications and Community Relations, Native American Services, Language and Cultural, Human Resources, Regional Executive Directors, and Child Nutrition Services.

Superintendent Karl Springer said none of the decisions had anything to do with employee performance.

"This is one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make in my career as a teacher and administrator," Springer said.

Employees terminated are immediately suspended with pay through July 22, 2010.

Those who got the letters have the right to a board hearing. Those who waive that right will have the option to resign.

The district has to cut $17 million from its budget due to the state budget crisis. Over 500 concerned teachers, parents and staff showed up with concerned questions to a OKCPS community meeting Tuesday night. A lot of questions surrounded the bigger class sizes that Springer said are inevitable.

See a detailed report of OKCPS' cuts

All first year teachers were put on notice that they're contracts could end up not being renewed. Springer said over 100 positions will have to be eliminated. Retirements and resignations could bring the number of first year teachers eliminated down, but a lot of parents said it's not good enough.

"You can take a first year teacher and a teacher that's been there for 35 years, but when you get to the point where a teacher no longer cares about what they're doing then why let the first year teacher go?" said one concerned parent.

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