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Tulsa Public Schools Receives Anonymous Donation

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Picture of a student at Tulsa Public Schools working during class. [File photo] Picture of a student at Tulsa Public Schools working during class. [File photo]
Director of Special Education, Kay Sandschaper. Director of Special Education, Kay Sandschaper.
The marquee outside the Tulsa Public Schools Education Service Center. The marquee outside the Tulsa Public Schools Education Service Center.

NewsOn6.com & Ashli Sims, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma – An anonymous donation will help fund several specialist positions that had previously been eliminated from next year's budget at Tulsa Public Schools.

The district announced Monday it received a $175,000 grant that will be used to help fund eight social workers at its high schools during the 2011-2012 school year.

The district's partnership with the Department of Human Services to provide social workers in the high schools was on its way out the door.

Director of Special Education, Kay Sandschaper, said it was one of the casualties of the $4.2 million in special education budget cuts, until a generous donor stepped up.

"It was horrifying to have to eliminate that program and I'm so grateful that people in the public see what these people do for our kids," she said. 

The donation will pay the district's portion of the eight social workers' salaries.

"Someone in the public saw the cuts being made, saw the value of social workers in the high school, and said let me take care of this for you this year," Sandschaper added.

Dr. Keith Ballard, Superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools, also expressed his gratitude.

"From the bottom of my heart, I express our sincere appreciation for this outstanding show of support from a very generous community donor," said Dr. Keith Ballard, superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools. "Of all the programs we were forced to cut, this is the one that troubled me the most."

"We are so grateful to our anonymous donor for pitching in when our own state legislature doesn't provide adequate funding to support these mission-critical programs," Ballard added.

Tulsa Public Schools leaders said the special needs programs were funded with federal stimulus dollars, but that money has run out.

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