Parents Express Concern At TPS Meeting Discussing Consolidating Schools

Tuesday, April 18th 2017, 8:05 pm
By: News On 6

Parents and teachers are questioning Tulsa Public Schools’ decision to close and consolidate some campuses.

Close to 80 people attended a meeting over the decision – most were upset that only southwest side schools were chosen to be closed and consolidated; they hope the districts re-thinks its current recommendation.

Tuesday night was the first of four meetings this month with Tulsa Public Schools hoping to hear feedback about recommended cuts to save the district the nearly $12 million.

4/6/2017 Related Story: Tulsa Parents Upset At TPS' Cost-Cutting School Consolidation Plan

One solution being considered is to close Park and Remington Elementary as well, as ECDC Porter, and combine them inside Clinton Middle School - the middle school students would be moved to Webster High School.

"It's not just Tulsa, this is a statewide situation, and so we are doing the best we can," said TPS Superintendent Deborah Gist.

The district said the schools were picked because of declining enrollment and their proximity to each other.

Both elementary schools and ECDC Porter have less than 600 students combined, and are all underutilized; it's a similar situation at Clinton and Webster.

However, some living in the area think the district needs to find other schools to consolidate in different parts of town.

Neighbor Richard Ryan said, "I just want to make sure everything is fair because what is happening here is an absolute sledgehammer blow to this neighborhood."

If the school board approves the plan, Clinton Elementary School would have less than 550 students, and the combined middle and high school at Webster would have just more than 850.

Parent Sarah Denney said, "When you're moving kids around you just want to do what saves the most money, but what's really important is what's best for my child."

There are three more meetings this month for people to give feedback to the district about the consolidations:

  • April 19th at Remington Elementary from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
  • April 20th at Clinton Middle School from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
  • April 24th at Webster High School from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.