Tulsa Public Schools Board Votes To Eliminate 174 Positions


Tuesday, February 18th 2020, 10:42 pm
By: Kristen Weaver


The TPS Board of Education approved eliminating some staff positions across the district amid its $20 million budget deficit.

The cuts don’t affect teaching positions.

The school board voted in favor of eliminating 174 positions and creating 140 new ones, which they said saves the district about $5 million.

This proposal was on the board’s agenda last week but was tabled until Tuesday night and discussed in executive session.

TPS said 110 positions will be deleted in July.

64 custodial positions will be eliminated as those employees leave, and some new custodians will only work during the school year instead of for 12 months.

A support staff labor union group for the employees being affected by the cuts, like the custodians, said it’s happened quickly and left their members wondering if they’ll be out of a job. The Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association said while it doesn’t impact teachers directly it’s still a huge change.

“It caught us off guard and what a lot of our people wanted to know was what are they doing,” said American Federation of Teachers Tulsa President Ed McIntosh. “Will I not have a job and can’t I can’t tell you if you won’t have a job?”

“It’s upsetting, it’s sad, it’s heartbreaking, it’s infuriating, and as far as where that’s directly coming from, it’s various places including state funding,” said Shawna Mott-Wright, TCTA Vice President.

Superintendent Dr. Deborah Gist said voting on the proposal will allow employees time to figure out what’s next and possibly apply for the new positions being created before the end of June.

“We want those team members to have as much time as they can to figure out what happens next to them,” Gist said. “Every single one of these folks are beloved members of our team who contribute mighty to our district and care very much about the district.”

Many of the other cost saving measures come from things like changing bell schedules and utilizing bond money differently.

All the employees affected were given resources to help them get a new job.

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