More than 100 support staffers will lose their jobs with Tulsa Public Schools this summer.
Monday, the Board of Education voted on a plan to restructure its support personnel which will save the district several million dollars but eliminate dozens of jobs.
Board members were in executive session for five hours before voting to approve the reduction in force.
TPS estimates it needs to cut $13.5 million for next school year. This is just one chunk of change in that colossal price tag.
Ed McIntosh, president of the local American Federation of Teachers, pleaded with the school board to reconsider.
"We realize budgets are tight, but Tulsa Public Schools shouldn't make cuts," he said.
Two employees who will be laid off spoke up, too, including Linda Pickens.
"My intentions are to retire with Tulsa Public Schools. I'm a single parent; this is my only income," she said.
Originally, the district planned to cut 172 positions and create 66 new ones, saving nearly $2.7 million annually. Monday, Gist updated those numbers saying the district will eliminate 175 positions, consolidating them into 73 new jobs and saving TPS nearly $3 million of state funding.
These are support staff jobs, including 27 bus drivers, eight administrative assistant positions and seven police and security officers as well as dozens of media, tech and mechanic jobs.
Gist said, "Personnel cuts are difficult. They are extremely difficult because they exact a toll on people's lives."
The board will meet again on Wednesday to vote on changing school start times and cutting athletic programs.