Parents Brace For More Changes Coming Tulsa Public Schools
TULSA, Oklahoma - More Tulsa families are finding out their school might close and be relocated next year. The changes are part of more historic overhaul at Tulsa schools.
TPS closed 14 schools last year -- sweeping changes, that many people hoped would be a one-time blow. But all along, TPS cautioned: this isn't over -- and families are bracing themselves for more changes this fall.
Tulsa Public Schools says it's freed up $2.5 million dollars in the budget from implementing the first round of Project Schoolhouse.
Deputy Superintendent Millard House says one thing the district learned from the budget crisis: to avoid another historic overhaul, it needs to constantly re-evaluate where money's being spent.
"Number one, it's responsible to really be utilizing taxpayer dollars the best way possible," House said.
So in the spirit of Project Schoolhouse, administrators say they'll give the district a report card every year based on student population -- and make changes from there.
Sequoyah Elementary is just one example. TPS wants to close the school at the end of the school year and move its students to the old Cleveland Middle School building.
"They've outgrown their home. They're in a place where, over the course of time, they're sitting right in the middle of the area of town that's seen the most growth," House said.
Other changes being considered for next year:
- Mayo Demonstration Academy could move to the former Wilson Middle School.
- Eisenhower International School could move to the old Nimitz building.
- TPS wants to lease two schools: Greeley Elementary to the Lighthouse Academy charter school; and Barnard to the Tulsa School of Arts and Sciences.
- The district also has plans to sell the Fulton building.
The school board will vote on all those changes by the end of the month -- changes House says will keep TPS nimble in the new economy.
"Being that there's still uncertainty out there, it's important for us to continue looking at how efficient we can be."
TPS says feedback continues to be crucial. These plans are not necessarily set in stone, if school communities can come up with alternatives.
Sequoyah Elementary families get their chance at a meeting Thursday at 6 p.m.