School Board Approves TPS Contract Buyouts


Monday, March 7th 2016, 3:47 pm
By: Emory Bryan


With millions of dollars in education budget cuts looming, Tulsa Public Schools is trying to cut expenses. To save money, the district announced a new plan to cut administrative jobs.

Monday night, the school board approved the plan to downsize the administration, immediately, to get ready for cuts coming in the next budget year.

The Education Service Center is the symbol of school administration; but when it comes to cuts, administration is not just the people who work there.

There are hundreds of employees who indirectly support the classroom without actually working in one.

The district has a substantial maintenance staff, but since their jobs aren't required by law, maintenance could be cut as the district tries to work with a shrinking budget.

"We're coming to the point, with the budget cuts, that even those services that are routine and expected, if they're not required, they may need to be reviewed and, possibly, reduced," said Talia Shaull with TPS Human Capital.

3/7/2016 Related Story: Tulsa Public Schools Plans To Offer Contract Buyout To Administrators

The plan is to cut down on payroll for next year by paying off the contracts for administrators who leave by April 15th.

Shaull said, "It's a plan that we're putting together and encouraging people who are making decisions, to make them sooner than later so we can appropriately plan for staffing needs next year."

The administrator buyout offer is only for central service employees, not for administrators at school sites. Approximately 550 people qualify for the offer, which excludes positions required by federal, state law.

The district can't predict how many people will take the offer, and doesn't know exactly how much needs to be cut.

"We are having to figure out which services are most essential, and how to deliver those to schools, and which positions could be collapsed so we can continue to provide at least those essential services," Shaull said.

The reduction plan is just for administrators, not for teachers, but there could be fewer teachers next year as well.

The district can easily reduce teachers by attrition by just not hiring replacements for people who choose to leave.