OKLAHOMA CITY – Budget cuts continue to have negative effects on local school districts, even though students are not in the classroom.
The Oklahoma City Public School District recently informed principals that they would be hit with specific budget cuts that will impact schools next year.
The Fine Arts budget will be cut by 50 percent, resulting in a loss of $195,000. District officials say those cuts will impact supplies and transportation expenses. However, they say it was necessary to keep Fine Arts in the classroom.
Also, library media budgets will be eliminated for a total cut of $206,000, meaning new resources will not be able to be purchased.
Principals also learned that elementary school budgets will be reduced from $25 per student to just $15 per student, meaning they will lose $260,000 next school year. District officials say elementary school budgets will affect activity funds used for school supplies and other in classroom needs paid for by school sites.
“These are extremely difficult financial times, and tough decisions had to be made in order for the district to make up the $30-million dollar budget shortfall,” said Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent Aurora Lora.
The Oklahoma City Public School District was forced to adjust more than 200 teacher positions when it was handed a $30 million budget cut.
In March, the district announced it would be cutting 208 teaching positions to save money.
A couple of weeks later, the district decided to lay off about 18 percent of its administrative staff.
District leaders announced $10 million in cuts would focus on delaying the purchase of new textbooks, cutting school supply budgets, cutting funding for student testing, reducing contracts with outside vendors and delaying purchases of athletic equipment.