OKCPS Budget Cuts Proposal Includes School Consolidations

Monday, May 16th 2016, 10:21 pm
By: News 9

Oklahoma City Public Schools Associate Superintendent Aurora Lora laid out her recommendations for how $7 million can be saved, bringing the total amount slashed from the district budget to $30 million.

After more than 1,000 students made their voices heard Monday by walking out of class and sending a loud and clear message about education cuts, a small group interrupted the school board meeting financial presentation with a silent protest. They carried signs and seemed visibly disheartened by the budget reduction impacting their schools.

Lora recommended consolidating schools based on low student population and space. If approved, Kaiser East 5th and 6th grade students would go to Kaiser Elementary, and Greystone Lower Elementary Pre-K and kindergarten students would go to Greystone Upper Elementary.

“If those consolidations involve staffing changes, we do have open vacancies for teacher, principal and support staff at other schools so we will do our best to move everyone to an open position,” she said.

She also recommended to reorganize operations and do away with 30 percent of the district's cabinet positions. Under her proposal, there would be no chief operating officer, chief information officer, or associate superintendent, her current position.

Lora said she also wants to declare the following properties surplus so they can be put on the market to sell: 

Dewey Elementary School
Creston Hills Elementary School
Marcus Garvey Charter School
Garden Oaks Elementary School
Tyler Elementary School
Valley Brooke Elementary School
615 N Classen Boulevard

Lora also has reductions in mind for contract negotiations currently underway and wants to end the school calendar by two days.

The board will have to vote to approve this set of recommendations.

5/16/2016 Related Story: $7 Million In Additional Budget Cuts To Be Recommended At OKCPS Board Meeting