OKCPS Looks Into More Budget Reductions For Upcoming 2017-18 School Year

Friday, February 24th 2017, 4:48 pm
By: Grant Hermes

Facing another round of painful cuts, the Oklahoma City Public School District says this time its prepared but the future might be bleak.

The announcement on Friday of a $2.8 million cut comes just days after schools were told they'd be shorted another $50 million statewide.

District Spokesperson Mark Myers said Oklahoma City Public Schools had planned for another round of deep cuts when putting together this year's budget, essentially saying they saw it coming.

But the cuts still sting.

In a statement Friday, Myers said in part "This reduction is concerning and disappointing, but OKCPS prepared for this by making many difficult and significant budget reductions at the end of last school year in anticipation of the continued state funding crisis."

“This is a very difficult time. These are some of the deepest cuts that I've ever seen to a school district and we're having to cut things that I believe are really, really important for our school,” OKCPS Superintendent Aurora Laura said in May of 2016 after the latest round of budget cuts at the time.

Friday, the cuts are just the latest for the school district.

Last year, it was forced to cut $30 million dollars forcing them to find cost savings by canceling text book orders, cutting administrative staff and cutting on-site maintenance. In more extreme cases two schools were closed and four were consolidated.

Greystone Lower and Upper Elementary Schools were consolidated. Kaiser East was also consolidated into Kaiser Elementary schools. At the time the district estimated the savings cost at $268,000.

District officials said on Friday they were working on permanent solutions for next year, which may include more consolidations. Myers said the newest round of recommendations were expected in the next few weeks.