Tulsa Public Schools Recommends Reduction In Administrative Staff

Friday, April 1st 2016, 2:15 pm

In an effort to restructure, Tulsa Public Schools eliminated 172 administrative jobs; meaning more than 100 people go off the payroll for good.

The district plans to hire for new positions, many at lower pay, to handle the work that has to be done. But Superintendent Dr. Deborah Gist said more cuts are coming.

TPS said the reductions are in anticipation of up to $20 million in budget cuts for the 2016-2017 school year.

"Our first priority is to protect our students and teachers from those cuts, and so we started here; we knew that we would hear that, and we have," Gist said.

The superintendent said a survey validated the decision to make cuts at the central office first. But, she said the cuts that are coming - on the high end $20 million - will get down to teachers, not just support staff and administrators.

4/1/2016 Related Story: Layoffs Underway At Tulsa Public Schools

Gist said, "We've always known, to reach those kind of cuts, it's going to have to be a combination of decisions, and this is the first of what probably will be many of those."

The layoff consolidates 172 jobs into 66 positions - a reduction of 106 employees. The district said that will save $2.7 million a year.

While Gist said more cuts, with more significance to students, are coming, losing people now who handle everything from payroll to building maintenance will filter through to everyone involved with TPS.

"No one should have the impression this is OK, that this can keep happening, that we can continue doing it because right now we are stopping things that are important, and other things that are important we stopped years ago because of other cuts made over the years," Gist said.

The superintendent said they'll know in a few weeks how many teachers they'll be able to hire back next year.

They're waiting on word from the legislature as work continues on the state budget.