TPS Holds Final Meeting For Feedback On Plans To Consolidate Schools

Monday, April 24th 2017, 10:48 pm
By: News On 6

Monday was the last community meeting for people to say what they think about Tulsa Public Schools’ plan to close and consolidate schools on the west side.

If the school board approves the recommendation to close Park and Remington elementary schools and ECDC Porter, then Webster High School would be home to middle and high school students - something many who attended Monday’s meeting are not in favor of.

As TPS figures out how to trim $12 million out of next year's budget, schools on the west side of Tulsa are the ones that could see the most dramatic cuts.

"I honestly have not talked to one person that is okay with it or willing to accept it,” parent Sandee Crook said.

Two of Crook’s children go to Park Elementary, which is on the block to potentially be cut.

4/18/2017 Related Story: Parents Express Concern At TPS Meeting Discussing Consolidating Schools

"It's not just our neighborhood school, it's been around since 1908," Crook said.

TPS has been holding meetings to let the community ask questions and give input; Monday’s meeting at Webster was their last chance.

"Who's going to want to move over here into this area of town when you don't have a neighborhood school," asked Webster Alumni Association President Donna Savage.

She thinks closing and consolidating west side schools will ruin the neighborhoods, saying the schools allow parents and kids to develop and work through relationships.

"It provides a glue for the neighborhood," Savage said. "It just gives them a sense of community before they go out into the real world."

If the board approves the current plan, Clinton Middle School would become home to elementary and ECDC Porter students; the middle schoolers would be moved to Webster High School which would become a split campus.

Crook said, "I would not want that for my own student."

Neither Crook nor Savage place all the blame with TPS officials, but rather point the finger at state leaders.

"I think that they are not increasing the taxes on certain areas, and what money they do have they're mismanaging," Savage said.

TPS administrators will make their final recommended cuts to the school board next Monday. A vote by the board is expected in the middle of May.