School Funding Increase May Not Be Enough

Budget Increase

Plans to give education more money, may not be enough for schools, according to some school administrators.

Your children have seen overcrowded classrooms. So far, even with more cash, it may not get much better.

Lawmakers approved 74-million dollars in additional funds this year. The budget increase breaks down to about 4 million dollars for Tulsa Public Schools. That means maintaining staffing of teachers and possibly adding more, according the superintendent, Dr. Keith Ballard.

Since 2008 Tulsa schools have lost more than 22 million dollars and more than 200 teaching jobs. 4.1 million dollars won't make up for all of that, according to Ballard.

Students in one East Central Junior High classroom say they've felt the disruption of classrooms overcrowded due to budget cuts.

Today, they had superintendent Dr. Keith Ballard for a special lesson on leadership. But he openly discussed the budget, which will give teachers a step raise. It will allow the district to hold on the jobs that private donations saved, last year.

Ballard thanks parents for speaking up this year, for the increase they did see. But he says funding is a long way off.

"We are not even to 2009 levels in funding for education yet this 7.1 billion dollar budget that will be approved by the legislature, signed by the governor, will be the largest in the history of the state of Oklahoma," said Dr. Keith Ballard.

Now that administrators have numbers to work with. Districts will be busy coming up with their own budgets, by the end of fiscal year, in June.