Local Business Feels Impact Of Education Cuts, Closes Doors

Monday, March 21st 2016, 10:31 pm
By: News On 6

A local, family-owned store is closing, blaming legislators' sweeping cuts to education in Oklahoma for its downfall.

The Apple Tree has served Tulsa families for three decades, but, it'll close by the end of the school year.

"We've been in business for 36 years and it's just, it's really sad to see it go," said The Apple Tree manager, Sandy Schaeffer.

The learning materials store has lost customers to online shopping, but Schaeffer, whose family owns the store, said there's another reason for the store's decline, the massive state budget cuts to education.

3/21/2016 Related Story: 'The Apple Tree' Blames Closure On Economy, Education Cuts

"With every cut that the schools have, it trickles down to us, also," she said.

And it's been trickling down for years.

Schaeffer said, "You know, the schools are not giving them money to spend. The schools, themselves, don't have money to spend."

The Apple Tree's reach goes beyond the store. For years, it's hosted summer learning programs, adopted local schools and donated 10 percent of proceeds during the holiday season.

Now, it won't see another holiday season. It's set to close May 31st.

"Our goal was to get all of these products into hands of teachers and the children, and, unfortunately, it's sad that it's not going to be that way anymore," Schaeffer said.