TULSA, Ok - TPS superintendent Deborah Gist announced cuts of $7 to $20 million could threaten nearly every aspect of the district.
Wednesday, Gist sent messages to TPS staff about the cuts as the state celebrates money that shifted the threat of state-wide budget cuts until later. The Tulsa superintendent is concerned it will not be able to escape the impending cuts without major changes.
Gist posted the YouTube video below explaining the possible cuts and her promsie to protect classrooms. KRMG has obtained the email Gist sent to employees, see excerpts below.
- Some school districts are considering a four day week, and some of you have asked about this as an option. We are exploring this schedule change as one of the possible scenarios for next year. We would protect learning time by lengthening the school day
- We could consider reducing or eliminating important programs like athletics or fine arts. Even a total elimination of athletics would only provide $2.3 million. Elimination of fine arts would mean $8.1 million in savings.
- Class size increase. An increase of four students would create $9.6 million in savings.
- We may have to consider reducing or eliminating transportation of students in the district. For example, if we limited transportation services to special education students only, we would save approximately $8 million per year.
- We are fortunate to have our campus police and campus security available to deal with a wide variety of safety concerns. If we completely eliminated these services, we would save $3.5 million. Of course, safety is a priority for our district. In fact, above everything else, we have to be sure that our students and teachers are safe, and we know that our world has changed. Arguably, the need for campus security has never been higher.
Gist closed by reassing, “we have NOT made any decisions. In addition, these are not the only possibilities. What I'm sharing with you is information to consider.”