Tulsa Public School Superintendent: Part Of Consolidation Proposals Off The Table

Tuesday, April 12th 2011, 8:20 pm
By: News On 6

Ashli Sims, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- The Superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools said Tuesday night two items included in the Project Schoolhouse proposals are off the table.

Dr. Keith Ballard said he is no longer considering closing Central High School.  He also said plans to turn some schools into 1st- 8th grade "super elementary" schools have fallen by the wayside.

Read all three Project Schoolhouse Proposals

Meanwhile, the district's consolidation plans sparked anger at a North Tulsa community meeting Tuesday night.

In 42 years, Margaret Myers has worked with a lot of students and she's spent her whole career in one building.

"Everyone knows everyone. The history. I now have students coming back. I taught their parents. I know their grandparents. It's just a situation that you wouldn't want to tear apart," she said.

So she takes the possibility of Greeley Elementary closing personally.

"Well my heart kinda sank. I thought, 'Oh my God. I opened the school. Now I'm fixin to close the school," Myers said.

It's something parents and students don't want to see happen.

"Because we trying to save our school," Ariyana Ross, a Greeley student, said.

"We need our schools open, please do not close our schools," Tarika Markhum, a Greeley parent, said. "Lots of parents don't have transportation to go to other schools. We really need to keep Greeley open."

They're protesting Tulsa Public Schools plans to shrink and streamline the district to save millions.  Gilcrease Middle School's auditorium was packed as parents and community members lined up to give the district a piece of their minds.

"To tell me I only have these three choices. My choice is, no! I don't like any of them," James Johnson said, as the crowd erupted in applause.

"You close the pools, you close the parks, and then you close the schools. Do you think anyone is going to want to live in North Tulsa? No! It's going to become a ghost town," Tulsa City Councilor Jack Henderson said.

Myers says she's been around long enough to know that with only 140 students, Greeley would be a target. She just hopes the district could find some way to save this school for the community's sake.

"Cause there are no stores here, there is nothing here but the school," she said. "It's everything. You can look around. This is the center of the whole community. It's its lifeline."

Greeley Elementary is slated to close under two of the proposals that have been released. But Dr. Ballard says the final recommendation will be a combination of those plans, plus some new ideas.

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