Tulsa Street School Director Calls Education Cuts 'Gut Wrenching'

Friday, June 10th 2016, 6:37 pm
By: Amy Slanchik

The state board of education is making cuts for next year amid Oklahoma’s budget shortfall.

The executive director of Tulsa’s Street School was at the meeting on Friday afternoon in Oklahoma City and described the cuts as "gut wrenching."

But she says she's thankful for Street School's situation, because the cuts could have been a lot worse.

6/10/2016 Related Story: Local Company Matching Up To $50K In Donations For Street School

Bianca Gray is able to give her 1-year-old daughter Amara a more hopeful future than she had.

“I was born at Mabel Bassett Correctional Center when my mom had me, and since then, I wasn't raised with her," Gray said.

Gray is a graduate of Street School. She doesn't know who her father is and hasn't spoken to her mother in years.

When she was a student at East Central High School, she struggled.

“I skipped all the time, like I didn't care about nothing the teachers was talking about,” she said.

That's when she was introduced to Street School, and she is one of 27 who graduated last year.

6/10/2016 Related Story: State Board Of Education Approves Nearly $39M In Cuts To Public School Activities Fund

Street School will have 95 students enrolled in the fall, with a budget for the fiscal year of more than $1 million.

They'll be getting $50,000 less from the state than last year.

“I have faith that everything will work out," Street School Executive Director Lori McGinnis – Madland said.

McGinnis-Madland says they will "happily" take the cuts rather than get nothing so others like Gray can have a second chance at an education.

“One thing I can say about here is no matter what, they make sure you reach your goal and as long as you're willing to help yourself, they will get you to the finish line," Gray said.

But for the 22-year-old Gray, graduating from Street School is not her finish line.

She plans to attend TCC this fall and become a guidance counselor.

“Be that someone that somebody else can come to and be like 'girl, if you did it, I can, too.’ That's who I wanna be," Gray said.

Right now, a challenge grant is going on for Street School to help pay for the current fiscal year's budget shortfall. You can click here for that information.