Budget Shortfall For Tulsa Public Schools Continues To Grow
By Ashli Sims, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- When Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Keith Ballard opened the January state funding check, he was shocked to find it was $2.5 million short.
Tulsa Public Schools has already trimmed millions from its budget and Tuesday night, Dr. Ballard delivered more bad news to the district's school board.
Dr. Ballard is expected to meet with the district's teachers union Wednesday to discuss other money saving ideas.
This follows news on Tuesday of a second round of furloughs for workers, including principals. The school board approved the furloughs for 10 month employees.
Tulsa Public Schools is facing a shrinking budget, twice as much as first thought.
The district says it is on pace to lose $10 million by the end of the fiscal year in July.
Dr. Keith Ballard has already slashed millions and forced hundreds of workers to take days off without pay.
"We've already cut $3 million out of this budget. I would've thought that would have been huge. I would've thought that would have been monumental to have gotten that much. But now we may have to do yet another 5 or more," said Dr. Keith Ballard.
If the budget situation continues to get worse, Tulsa Public School officials say they will consider shutting down all spending, possibly a third round of furloughs and/or a one percent across the board salary cut.
Furloughs are already a reality for more than 1,000 TPS employees.
The school board voted last month to make all 12-month employees take days off without pay. Those at the top of the pay scale will take three days, with those making less taking only one or two furlough days.
The furlough days are scheduled for holidays, when it should have the smallest impact on students and parents.
The first one is on President's Day, February 15.
And the blows keep coming. Last week, state education officials handed out the mid-year adjustments.