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Tulsa Public Schools Explores Ways To Cut Costs

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

Tulsa Public Schools is searching for ways to save teaching jobs and meet next year's budget.

Right now, 75 teaching positions are on the chopping block.  TPS Superintendent Dr. Keith Ballard said they are looking under every rock to find ways to maximize the budget.

One possible suggestion is to eliminate the 28 bus routes to magnet schools.

Ben Stout, with Tulsa Public Schools said this would save the district $697,698.

"That would equate to put 16 additional teaching positions back in the classroom if we did that," Stout said.

Eisenhower Elementary is a language immersion magnet school - and a school where the choice of cuts could go both ways. They could lose two teachers or bus service that many students rely on.

"I think that's going to affect a lot of families and their ability to get their children to school," Eisenhower parent Marlow Sipes said.

Sipes is helping organize a rally and lobbying trip to the state capitol Wednesday. She's outraged at the budget talk coming out of the legislature.

"A lot of legislators say that educational funding is a priority, to them," Sipes said. "We need them to show us that's the truth."

Stout also mentioned ways it could hurt TPS.

"If we had an increase absence because a loss in transportation, we'd lose funding for students in the classroom," Stout said.

Another option that was tossed around was moving the athletic period to after school.

"I pledge that we look at every single position that comes open and ask ourselves is there any way we can re-purpose those dollars to teacher allocations," Ballard said.

It's important to remember these are just ideas and nothing has been set in stone.

A rally at the capitol is scheduled for Wednesday at 1 p.m. The group "49th is Not OK!" is organizing it to influence the legislature as the vote gets close - and as the discussion comes down to whether to put more money into education - or make tax cuts instead.

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