TCTA Wants 'All Consultants' Out of Tulsa Public Schools to Save Money

Tuesday, December 10th 2019, 9:22 pm
By: Amy Slanchik

The Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association said it has its own ideas about how to save Tulsa Public Schools money, and it involves cutting consultants.

The district has released its proposed cuts to save $20 million in its budget, and insists all options are still on the table.

Related Story - Tulsa Public School Leaders Speak About Budget Cuts 

The TCTA said it does appreciate TPS working to avoid directly impacting classrooms by making some of the cuts in the district's office. That move is projected to save about $14 million and involves cuts at every team in the TPD district office - including the superintendent's office, IT, campus police, communications, maintenance, and child nutrition.

TCTA said it wants to see TPS get rid of all the consultants the district uses to work with and evaluate teachers.

Neither the district nor the teacher's union could provide any information on how much is spent on consultants, but both said some of the programs are privately funded.

"Some of the work that we're able to do to support our new teachers and others who need and want assistance is privately funded,” Superintendent Deborah Gist said. “And so if we stopped doing it, and we said, 'OK, we're not going to provide that kind of support to folks anymore,' that doesn’t help us with our structural deficit.”

"If we got rid of them, then Kaiser, Shusterman and the foundation could spend their money elsewhere, on the things that teachers tell you matter,” TCTA Vice President Shawna Mott-Wright said.

TPS parents can still have their voices heard at two more community budget meetings this week. There will be a meeting from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. at East Central High School and from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Webster High School.

The district will present its final recommendations to the school board in early January.