How Will District Consolidation Affect Transfer Trend At Tulsa Public Schools?

Tuesday, April 5th 2011, 9:59 pm
By: News On 6

Ashli Sims, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Tulsa Public Schools is still tabulating the results of thousands of parent surveys, but early numbers show most parents are dissatisfied with neighborhood schools and are transferring for better opportunities.

Nearly a third of Tulsa Public Schools' parents take the route Toshia Wilson is walking.

"We transferred in," Toshia said.

Her neighborhood school doesn't make the grade, so by law she is able to transfer her children to a different school. She chose Chouteau.

"This school just on paper looked really, really, good," she said. "We basically came here we met with Dr. Burk and we liked what we saw. And it just got better after that."

Tulsa Public Schools is trying to figure out the transfer phenomenon as part of their effort to consolidate schools. Early results show:

  • Nearly 70 percent are transferring because they believe their students will get a better education.
  • More than 60 percent transfer because their chosen school has an excellent reputation and
  • More than half of parents surveyed say they commute up to half an hour to get those benefits.

The transfer process is leaving whole classrooms empty, which strains district resources.

But it's the extra room that allows students to transfer in the first place. Tulsa Public Schools wants to eliminate 7,000 empty seats and the unintended consequence may be choking off the stream of transfers.

The district says on its website there is no plan to change the transfer policy.  But if the district consolidates, it admits there will be fewer slots available for students to transfer into other schools.

Read all three Project Schoolhouse Proposals

Tulsa Public Schools hopes by improving educational opportunities, like their plan to offer college courses at Rogers, parents won't want to transfer away from their neighborhoods.

The federal No Child Left Behind Law is what allows parents to transfer out of low performing schools, but you can only transfer to another school if there's space available.

Related Stories:

4/5/2011 Tulsa Public Schools Urging Parents To Pre-Enroll Pre-K, Kindergarten Students
4/4/2011 Tulsa Parents Fight To Keep Elementary School Open

4/4/2011 Consolidation Proposal Would Make Tulsa School Grades 1-12

4/1/2011 Parents, Kids Protest District's Proposal To Close Tulsa Elementary School

3/31/2011 Consolidation Means Possible Expansion For Some TPS Programs

3/31/2011 Tulsa Public Schools: $1.1 Million In Bonds Committed To Sites That Could Close

3/31/2011 Tulsa Public Schools Revises Dates For Forums On School Consolidation

3/30/2011 TPS Proposal Would Make Rogers High School A College Magnet Program

3/30/2011 Tulsa Elementary Teachers Hope To Keep School Open

3/29/2011 TPS Parent: Community Will Fail If School Closes

3/29/2011 Some Say Eliminating Tulsa Middle Schools Would Benefit Students

3/29/2011 Neighbors Raise Concerns Over Possible Tulsa Elementary School Closures

3/29/2011 TPS Superintendent: District Spread Too Thin To Be Effective

3/29/2011 Tulsa Public Schools Could Close Up To 17 Schools