Education Budget Cuts Deeper Than Expected

Thursday, June 2nd 2016, 5:01 pm
By: Aaron Brilbeck

It may be summer vacation, but Midwest City Grandmother Alese Williams is thinking about school. 

“Ugh. I'm so disappointed because with education the way it is anyways, and then they decide to take the money away, that leaves schools in a bad way.” Williams said.

Lawmakers bragged about bridging the budget deficit while holding the line on spending for common education. But a closer look shows lawmakers just shifted education dollars around to fund common education by wiping out the entire $33 million textbook fund for local schools, and by cutting $40 million in support for public school activities, like alternative education.

"Alternative education for some of our students is their last shot at getting to the finish line and getting a high school diploma,” said Mid-Del Superintendent  Dr. Rick Cobb. “Having a chance to put themselves either on the college track or into the workforce with something more than a minimum wage job."

Cobb says, for his district, this is a deep cut. 

"You're looking at funds that all in all total over a million dollars in revenue for our school district." 

Much of the state budget relies on one time funding.  That means next year, the budget hole could be even deeper. Cobb fears that means deeper cuts to education. 

Williams knows her grandchildren are still very young and right now the cuts won't have a huge impact now, but when they get older.

"When they get to that point I sure hope that we've decided that education is important in Oklahoma."