360 Oklahoma City Teachers Notified They Could Lose Their Jobs
By Adrianna Iwasinski, NEWS 9
OKLAHOMA CITY – More than 360 first year teachers with Oklahoma City Public Schools have been put on notice; they may not have a job come fall.
The district has to cut nearly $17 million from next year's budget. One of the biggest chunks they are considering is the $6 million they would save by not renewing 130 to 150 first year teaching contracts.
A couple who wants to remain anonymous says they yet to receive the notification letter in the mail, but the district reports all first year teachers should be receiving it.
In the letter, the district reminds all first year teachers that their one year contracts are set to expire and that as of this date; the decision to rehire them is still under consideration. It goes on to say that it may be June before they know.
"It's a terrible situation because a lot of times your young teachers are the best and the brightest and we want to make sure they get off to a good start," Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent Karl Springer said.
Springer outlined the many tough choices they have to make at an afternoon news conference.
"This is a hard thing to do," Springer said.
The following is a list of the proposed budget cuts:
Not renewing up to 150 first year teacher contracts would save the district the most, $6 million
Cutting central office and service center staff will save $1.7 million
Closing five elementary schools will save another 1.5 million
Not buying new textbooks would save another 1.8 million
There are also proposed cuts for utilities, overtime and other services
"The issue is we need to make sure that we understand that we don't have an option to spend more money than we are allocated for next year," Springer said.
Springer says the school board will discuss all their options at their June 7 meeting. Until then, he is encouraging those first year teachers to go ahead and explore their options.
First year teachers in Tulsa also stand to lose their jobs, they started receiving their notification letters two weeks ago. But the district there hopes to hire many of them back when the budget outlook becomes clearer.