Donation Helps Tulsa High School Hire Back Four Teachers
TULSA, Oklahoma - The Booker T. Washington Foundation is using $150,000 from its rainy day fund to bring four teachers back on staff and fund their salaries.
State budget cuts forced the elimination of 10 positions, so getting the teachers back will drastically reduce class sizes.
The decision to do so was is huge for both students and teachers and foundation representatives said it’s a temporary but necessary solution.
The unanimous vote from the Booker T. Washington Foundation for Excellence will bring the four teachers back and reduce class size from 35 to 25 or less.
"Not a hard decision at all,” said foundation member Rebecca Mark Jimerson. “When you love your school we rally behind our school, and we want to encourage all of Tulsa to rally behind all of the schools, and education is the key."
Schools across the state are feeling the impact of the education budget cuts, and so are students like incoming senior Mehki Singleton.
"I aspire to be a business man, so I signed up for classes like marketing, entrepreneurship and other classes that have to do with business. And, little did I know they would be cut before I had a chance to take them," he said.
The teaching positions won't cover the elective classes Singleton needs, but they'll cover core classes and one language - math, physics, social studies and Chinese.
"I would love to have those classes back. If it's not this year maybe next year," Singleton said.
In a school like Booker T., Singleton said the students are the heart and teachers are the backbone.
Although the money is something to sing about, they need more than that.
"I really just hope Oklahoma steps it up and gets it together," the senior said.
Foundation representatives say, with a big donation like this, they'll need continued community support to keep the foundation alive.