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First day of school gives Oklahoma City students, parents look at effects of budget crisis

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Monday was a big day for many students, as they headed back to the classroom in the Oklahoma City Public School District.

Our state is facing major cuts to our school systems, but education leaders said that won’t stop them from fighting for change.

At Gatewood Elementary, parents and kids were all smiles and cheers for the big day.

"Nervous, excited, all of the above," said Sarah Taylor.

Taylor told NewsChannel 4 she chose to enroll her two sons into the Oklahoma City Public School District from Moore.

That's because she was guaranteed full-day schooling for her kids, which is crucial for two full-time working parents.

Of course, she had concerns about Oklahoma's budget crisis affecting the district.

"The amount of money that our schools are having to make up either through donations or parent support is really troubling, and it's a real concern," Taylor said.

She believes our legislators need to step up.

"Figure out ways to get money into our schools to ensure that kids have full-day kindergarten, full-day pre-K. It's so important to get this start off for life, and they can't do that without proper funding," Taylor said.

With the cuts come larger class sizes and less resources for teachers and students, like supplies and materials.

"I think teachers and families are ready for change. We're ready to get things moving. We've got new standards rolling out. Even though it's going to be challenging, we're keeping a positive attitude and get through it," said Superintendent Aurora Lora.

The plan is to stretch every penny and continue to search for solutions to better the education system for students who just want to learn.

"I'm looking forward to seeing my teacher and learning new stuff," said 9-year-old Juanamaria Acuna.

With classes back in session, Oklahoma City police said they are on high alert in school zones, so don’t be surprised if you see a lot of motorcycle police patrolling.