TULSA, Oklahoma - Schools Oklahoma districts statewide are trimming teachers in the coming week, in order to compensate for a smaller education budget in the fall.


Lawmakers have planned a flat state budget for education but that translates into cuts because federal money for schools is running out.

That's forcing schools to cut teachers, and some programs, to make up the difference.

Maria Yevtushenko is one of the veteran teachers at Edison High School.



She's been teaching Russian there for 10 years - and despite the difficulty of the language - it's a popular class for students from 6 grade to seniors.

"Our world and their world, is different.  For them - it's global," Yevtushenko said.

But the Russian language and culture program is ending at Edison because Yevtushenko's position has been cut from the budget for next year.

Unless the legislature puts more money into education, 75 Tulsa teachers will be shuffled around to take the place of retiring teachers instead of making new hires.

Some specialized teachers like Yevtushenko will lose their jobs outright - and her students lose the chance to take an advanced class.

"It means be the end of Russian language program at Edison and this program was quite successful," Yevtushenko said.

The already full hallways will lead to even larger classes at Edison because they'll have six fewer teachers in the fall, with the same number of students.

"It can change what is available for kids, certain programs and classes, and availability of certain courses," Edison Principal Derrick Schmidt said.

A group of parents is demanding the legislature use available money for education - instead of wiping it off the books by cutting taxes.
It would take an extra $ 6 million dollars to keep the teachers working.

"Education should be the number one priority in Oklahoma," TPS parent Marlow Sipes said. "It is the foundation for every child and every human in this state.  It's time for us as parents to rally together and show them that this ought to be a priority."


The parents' organization has set up a website, 49th is not OK, which references Oklahoma's education rank among others in the country.