OKCPS to close more than a dozen schools
Oklahoma City, Okla —
Since Dr. Sean McDaniel stepped into the superintendent position at Oklahoma City Public Schools last summer, he's made it his mission to stop underutilizing certain schools in the district. School employees say the result could mean some drastic changes for both students, and educators.
OKCPS spokesperson Arely Martin told Fox 25, "This pathway to greatness project is a project focused on making sure we are aligning resources with student needs."
School officials said it's for the good of the students. They’re closing over a dozen school buildings, with an intent of getting resources to the kids in a more efficient way.
The school said students will be taken from overcrowded schools, and underused schools, making classroom sizes more equal and eliminating some schools all together.
"We've got to get a better student outcome,” According to Ed Allen, the President of the Oklahoma City American Teacher’s Federation, “I mean, that's ultimately what it is. And it's up to the district, the union, and teachers and parents. We have to offer a product that people want to buy, and right now we aren’t."
The changes will mean new bus routes, and potentially hundreds of teachers and employees moving schools, with potentially thousands of kids doing the same.
The district said they are looking at three options to improve the district in this way. All three paths involve the closures. The district said parents will have a say in the decision.
"We want to know what the community thinks about these three pathways.” Martin said, adding the plans will first be presented in a meeting on Tuesday.
A series of community wide meetings will happen before a decision is made in March.
“If we can't provide certain opportunities for your child at that school, then he may be relocated but he will have access to so many more programs and resources," Martin explained.
Educators say they want to ensure parents that they're doing what they feel is best for the kids.
The district plans to partner with community resources and use those empty buildings for things like healthcare facilities or meal services.
Click here to see a school calendar, with scheduled community wide meetings about the project.