Tulsa Teachers Facing Challenges Of School Funding Cuts

Monday, August 15th 2016, 1:47 pm
By: News On 6

With millions of dollars less to work with this year, schools across Green Country are planning ahead to make sure they stay afloat.

In a week, the doors at Emerson and all other Tulsa Public schools will open, and items collected and money raised through community donations and fundraisers will be a big help this school year.

Every year, the process of getting rooms in order starts over for teachers like Bixby High School teacher, Wes Coleman.

It's exciting. I love doing it. It’s something new every year," he said.

With the excitement comes concern as schools begin with less financial support from the state.

Coleman said teachers have learned to do the best with what they have; sometimes that means using their own money to pay for things.

"It's almost like a storm,” Coleman said. “You try to prepare for it, but you kinda don't know what's coming until they walk through the doors."

Teachers at Tulsa's Daniel Webster high school are preparing too. School principal Shelly Holman said they'll keep a close eye on energy usage and paper consumption.

"We are going to feel the crunch of increased class sizes. We're down an administrator but we are prepared and ready," Holman said.

But, donations will provide the most help.

Holman said donations are most often made to elementary schools, but secondary students need items like tissue, pencils, paper and disinfectant wipes just as much.

"No matter what level of student, whether it's elementary or secondary, students are in need and we always love to have donations for our high school kiddos," Holman said.

As far as cash donations, the Tulsa and Bixby communities have stepped up big time.

The Together for Tulsa Foundation has raised over a million dollars for TPS. In Bixby, Bridge the GAP has raised over $150,000 for BPS.

Monday, TTCU donated another $38,000 to Bixby Public Schools. And at Monday night's Tulsa school board meeting, TTCU will make a big check presentation to TPS.