With six schools in Oklahoma City school district potentially set to be closed or consolidated, questions are now being raised about what happens to the millions of tax payer dollars there were supposed to be doled out.
More than $15 million from the MAPS for Kids project was sent to six low enrollment schools around the district, according to data. Schools received on average around $3.2 million for repairs, maintenance, transportation and technology.
Those six school are: Green Pastures ($4.3 million), Northeast Academy ($3.4 million) Edgemere Elementary ($3.3 million), Gatewood Elementary ($2.78 million), Johnson Elementary ($2 million) F.D. Moon Elementary ($41,000).
Talk of closures or consolidating comes just a few weeks after the district was forced to cut $30 million from the budget, a direct effect from the state's $900-million budget hole.
The talks also come on the heels of a major vote last November in which voters approved a $180-million bond to help shore up the schools. The consolidations would only add on another $1.2 million to that total.
"[The bond] did not dedicate a specific amount of funding for a school. In the event a school is sold the funds remain available for use at another school listed in the authorization,” District spokesperson Mark Myers said in a statement on Tuesday.
Questions about MAPS funds come amid claims the district chose the half dozen schools through racial discrimination. The American Civil Liberties Union – Oklahoma (ACLU) requested records from the district to assess the claims of discrimination. Myers called the request “extensive.”
“I don’t know how we’re going to make the deadline,” Myers said about the Mar. 31 deadline.
OKCPS continues to hold public input meetings. The next meeting is set for Mar. 28, at Gatewood and Edgemere at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. respectively.