Tulsa School's year round school program ends

Tuesday, July 2nd 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Budget cuts put an end to Tulsa's year-round schools. It was program teachers fought for and parents believed in, but now it’s lost in a sea of red ink.

"We're in the process of collecting data, but we're not done yet and the jury's still out." It was a heartfelt plea, but in the face of a growing deficit, it wasn't enough to save this experimental program. John Hamill, TPS Spokesperson: “They will start the same as the rest of us and basically go back to a traditional school calendar.”

A $6.5-million budget deficit has turned the light out on Tulsa's 11 year-round schools. Cindi Hemm, Park Elementary Principal: "It’s been hard. Its a calendar we really believe in its a calendar that we feel like is best for children. And its something that we've convinced our parents is really good." Hemm is sending out letters to parents telling them the program she campaigned for three years is over.

Marilyn Rhoades: "I don't understand not funding school. Education should be a number one priority over anything else." Now the priority is trimming the budget and cutting back costs. That's why these classrooms are dark, and the thermostat is set on 78.

Cindi Hemm: "And yet, we also are a team player with Tulsa Public Schools. And with a six million dollar deficit we have to come up with cuts too and so we're willing to do our part.”

Marilyn Rhoades: “I know that he will do the best that he's able to with what he has to work with but I really feel strongly that cutting education funding is not the way to go."