State budget cuts mean Bartlesville Public Schools must cut almost $2 million dollars. District leaders tell News On 6 the goal is to keep those cuts from affecting students.
“We should be worried educating our kids,” Bartlesville superintendent Dr. Gary Quinn said.
Quin says this is the worst financial climate he's ever seen for public schools in Oklahoma.
“We should not be worried about trying to reduce staff in order to make it next year,” he said.
Bartlesville is preparing for a nearly $2 million budget cut, and Quinn is helping with the proposal.
“I have a lot invested here,” he said.
But after almost four decades as an educator, Quinn is retiring, passing the torch to Executive Director of Secondary Schools Chuck McCauly in July.
“We've had to make significant reductions,” McCauly said.
Already, McCauly has had to tell six people, including the directors of special education and transportation, that they're being let go.
“It was very difficult having the conversations with the employees that have done a good job for us,” McCauly said. “Been with us for years, and we've had to tell them we don't have a position for them next year.”
The district will save $1.4 million by making personnel cuts. It's reducing the teaching staff by 5 percent, but won't have to terminate any certified teachers.
Instead, the district isn't filling 22 positions that will open at the end of this school year.
The biggest fear is more cuts could come.
“Probably my largest concern from a budget standpoint is I'm not sure that we've seen the bottom yet,” McCauly said. “I don't know that anyone can predict that.”
The budget proposal will be brought before the Bartlesville School Board for approval May 16.