Families Concerned Over $20 Million TPS Budget Cuts

Monday, September 16th 2019, 10:10 pm
By: Kristen Weaver

Parents are desperate for answers after Tulsa Public Schools announced $20 million on the chopping block. 

The district held a board meeting tonight, and parents and community members said they still have a lot of unanswered questions. 

"I care about education and I have to," said board meeting attendee Pat Struck. 

Tulsa Public Schools will have to cut $20 million from next school year's budget.

TPS said that's due to smaller enrollment and a lower state budget compared to a decade ago. 

That caused it to dip into savings, which is now running out. 

Pat Struck's wife and two children are teachers. He's worried about what the school district will have to cut back on and wonders why students are leaving the district.

Related Story - Tulsa Public School Board Start Meetings Prior To Budget Cuts

"One of the concerns I have is, we're getting back to high volume in the classrooms," Struck said. "It's hard enough for teachers to do their job with a lower amount of students."

That's why, starting Tuesday, the public will be able to express what is most important to them before the board has to create their new budget.

"Given how difficult this is going to be, this be done in a way that is informed by people in the community," said superintendent Dr. Deborah Gist.

Gist says there are a lot of positive trends they've seen, like increased graduation rates for five straight years, and they want to keep that momentum.

"There are big changes in terms of the numbers of schools meeting growth goals, and meeting the goals the district has set for performance," Gist said. 

But she said the cuts will be difficult on everyone.

 "Given the magnitude of changes we need to make, everything is going to be affected in some way," she said. 

The first meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. at Daniel Webster High School on September 17. 

For a full list of meetings, click here. 

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