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Okmulgee School Board Votes For Layoffs

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Okmulgee Public Schools had to make $1 million in cuts to stay afloat and teachers make up the majority of the layoffs. Okmulgee Public Schools had to make $1 million in cuts to stay afloat and teachers make up the majority of the layoffs.
Assistant principal James Smith speaking to the school board. Assistant principal James Smith speaking to the school board.
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma -

A new budget from the legislature that provides no new money for schools is crippling another Green Country district -- this time in Okmulgee.

Tuesday, the board of education there approved the layoffs of 16 district employees, including teachers, administrators and clerical staff.

Okmulgee Public Schools had to make $1 million in cuts to stay afloat and teachers make up the majority of the layoffs.

4/9/2012 Related Story: Superintendent: Okmulgee Schools May Have To Cut Jobs 

Faced with declining enrollment and less school funding, the Board of Education for Okmulgee Public Schools sat face to face with teachers and made some tough decisions.

"I have been through the emotions of anger, disappointment, sadness," former Okmulgee teacher Candi Padfield said. 

Padfield showed up at the meeting thinking she would have the chance to fight for her job. However, she's only worked for the district for a year and isn't entitled to a hearing.     

 Her contract won't be renewed.

 "I'm going back for my Special Ed certification this summer and if the good Lord above has anything to do with it, I will get it," she said.      

 Other teachers and support staff were granted a hearing and they made their case to keep their job.

The district will be finalizing its schedule soon for classes.

Okmulgee Superintendent Tod Williams says some of the teachers who have lost their jobs could be rehired if schedules won't work with the current number of teachers.

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