Broken Arrow school board cuts budget and some staff positions

Tuesday, May 6th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Broken Arrow Public Schools has cut about $5-million from its budget since last spring. But apparently it isn’t enough.

The school board voted Monday night to shave another million from next year's budget. And this round of education cuts will affect students and employees. Broken Arrow students might have a longer walk to catch the school bus next year. Dr Gary Gerber, Assistant Superintendent: "what that means, you're gonna stop one time."

About 5,800 Broken Arrow students ride the bus everyday. The district started the year with 15 fewer bus routes; now Broken Arrow buses will log even fewer miles, as a way to save the district money. “So if you can cut the length of the route and you can improve fuel efficiency you're pretty assured of some savings." School officials don't know yet exactly how many stops will be eliminated. But they do know the changes will affect mostly middle and high schoolers.

And the cuts don't stop there. Support staff, like media aides, will shoulder much of the cuts. And unlike before, this latest round of reductions will mean layoffs. School officials were able to avoid cutting teachers, but they're still not happy about laying off about 60 employees. "This is not something we relish these are people these are friends and it hurts, this is not a position we wish to be in."

More than half of the district's savings will come from layoffs. Most of the layoffs come from office and media aide positions. That would save almost half a million dollars.

Unfortunately another round of cuts are expected at the district's next board meeting in two weeks.