Tulsa Public Schools Approves $545M Budget


Monday, June 20th 2016, 11:13 pm
By: News On 6


The Tulsa Public School board approved a $545 million budget Monday night. The new budget includes over 100 staff layoffs and restructuring of positions and pay.

The district says it's an effort to save money, but some newly created positions are actually giving current employees a raise.

Many positions, however, are being cut, meaning some teachers and administrators will not be returning next fall.

And, because of budget shortfalls from the state and federal government, class ratios will also rise.

The cuts were expected and are projected to save the district $2.7 million. However, the district ended up cutting fewer positions than expected.

6/20/2016 Related Story: Pay Cuts, Pay Raises Up For Vote For Tulsa School Board

While 92 existing positions are being slashed, some new ones are being created. 19 administrative positions are being filled by people who already work for the school district, and those 19 are collectively seeing an increase in pay of more than $238,000.

Their titles and amount of responsibilities are also increasing. One of them, Paula Shannon, former chief of staff for the superintendent, is getting a $14,000 raise. Her title is being changed to Deputy Superintendent, a position that sat vacant for some time.

Superintendent Dr. Deborah Gist said, "Sometimes that includes an increase in salary, other times they've taking on a position that is less of an amount of responsibility, so they've seen a smaller salary than maybe they've had before."

Staff cuts have district officials announcing student to teacher ratio will grow across the district. Kindergarten classes will have a student-teacher ratio of 26 to one with no aide. And the high school class size ratio will go up to 32 students to one teacher.