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“She cried for a day and a half straight,” Muskogee considers eliminating 7th, 8th grades from STEM school

Muskogee considers eliminating grades 7-8 from STEM school

MUSKOGEE, Okla. – As the deadline approaches, lawmakers across the state are still dealing with a nearly $900 million budget shortfall.

Following the news of the shortfall in February, the State Board of Education revised the common education budget to reflect $50.2 million in cuts.

Officials say the adjustments were necessary, especially since the Oklahoma Board of Equalization also confirmed a $39.1 million shortfall to the Education Reform Revolving Fund.

Now, school districts across the state are bracing for impact.

According to FOX 23, Muskogee Public Schools is considering eliminating seventh and eighth grades from Ben Franklin Science Academy.

The academy is a STEM school, focusing on science, technology, engineering and math programs.

Officials say the cut would save the district about $209,000, which is just a fraction of the $1 million that district leaders say they need to slash from the budget.

“Given the situation we’re in right now, this is something that we feel we have to look at and present to the board as an option,” said Muskogee Superintendent Mike Garde.

If that plan is put in place, the affected students would be transferred to Alice Robertson Middle School.

Parents say the proposed plan is devastating to their children.

“She cried, she cried for one and a half days straight,” Tonya Miller said.

Alice Robertson Middle School has a technology program, but it is not focused on STEM learning.