Tulsa Public Schools to spend $6.2M to maintain staff levels

TULSA, Okla. – The Tulsa Public Schools system will spend $6.2 million in reserve funds to offset declining state aid and keep staff levels relatively unchanged.

The Tulsa World reported Sunday early estimates for the 2019-20 school year show even more of a decline in state aid – $7 million.

Education officials said TPS enrollment is expected to decline from 37,433 to 36,393 students. State aid calculations allow districts to use enrollment data from the current or past two years, whichever is higher.

Superintendent Deborah Gist, after board approval of the budget, said spending reserve funds was a responsible thing to do to keep stability in schools and prevent further staff cuts.

Gist has advocated for districts to have less restricted local funding sources, potentially freeing up more money for teacher salaries.