Oklahoma Schools Preparing For Another Round Of Budget Cuts

Monday, May 8th 2017, 10:46 pm
By: News On 6

Broken Arrow school leaders are preparing employees for what the next round of budget cuts could look like for the district.

District officials said the people who need to act are lawmakers in Oklahoma City - and they are asking for parents help in pushing for action.

Tammy McCartney - a mother of two, a Broken Arrow High School graduate, and a former teacher - was at another budget cut meeting Monday night for her children's school district.

"I am really, really, disheartened. You know, I have thought about going to other districts, about putting my children in private school, but the fact is that education everywhere is struggling," she said.

Broken Arrow, along with every other district in Oklahoma, is waiting for the state legislature to approve the 2017-2018 budget. Until they get the official numbers from the state, the Broken Arrow district cannot move forward on a definite budget.

"We are dying on the operating table right now. We need funds," said Superintendent Janet Dunlop.

Board members are preparing scenarios in anticipation of what three-percent, five-percent, and 10-percent cuts could look like.

With a three percent budget cut, the minimum Broken Arrow is preparing for could mean more than $2 million slashed from funding.

McCartney said, “Just listening to this meeting, if the money is not there, no matter how much the community wants it, no matter how much our district wants it, we don't have the money. It's impossible."

Board officials said, no matter how severe the cuts, the goal is to keep budget cuts as far away as possible from the classroom.

Officials will continue discussing budget cut options at the next meeting June 5th.

As for McCartney, she said the power lies in the hands of state lawmakers and that she won't stop pushing for action.

Muskogee Public Schools also voted on more than $1 million in budget cuts Monday night. Some of the cuts include eliminating sports with low participation, a hiring freeze on all positions, and reorganizing positions at the administration office.