Tulsa Superintendent Repeats Calls For More School Funding
TULSA, Oklahoma - The Oklahoma State School Board held their regular monthly meeting in Tulsa Thursday at Will Rogers High School.
Superintendent Dr. Keith Ballard welcomed the state board to high school and detailed cuts being made in the local teaching force because of state budget cuts.
He repeated his call for more state money in education. Without it - Tulsa and many school districts statewide face cuts.
"We were using federal stimulus dollars, those run out this year," Ballard said. "If more money is not put into the state funding formula, we lose 75 teaching positions because of the state aid funding."
The cuts in Tulsa will eliminate programs and increase class sizes because fewer teachers will be working with the same number of students.
The state superintendent said administrators across Oklahoma face the same dilemma.
"They discuss class size, that's the number one thing on their mind, that class size is increasing because of this," State School Superintendent Janet Barresi said.
Wednesday, some parents were at the Capitol lobbying for increased school funding. The state department asked for $140 million dollars more, but lawmakers will make no promises.
"Three years in a row of cuts to education have yielded a detrimental result to children," Barresi said.
All of that is frustrating for Tulsa school parent Emily Dunaway.
"This is not just a Tulsa issue, this is a state issue and I don't think people realize what is happening," Dunaway said.
Many parents - and educators too are upset that while the school budget is uncertain - a personal income tax cuts is a certainty.
"We don't have any business cutting taxes if we're neglecting our children and their education," Dunaway said.
The next remote meeting for the board is this fall, in Howe, near Poteau in east central Oklahoma.