Investing for equity, access, and sustainability
In September 2019, we started a comprehensive and ambitious community engagement effort to gather feedback from our teachers, parents, students, staff, and community members to help inform our work to redesign our budget for the 2020-2021 school year. Between September and December 2019, we heard from more than 7,000 Tulsans though a web survey, community meetings, and small-group work-sessions. We also continued our extensive internal analysis of all district initiatives and expenses to identify any other possible savings opportunities.
Based on our community feedback, continued internal analysis, and our experience with and research on the programs, practices, and supports that we know work for our children, we identified approximately $18-$20 million in potential budget reductions which were presented to the Board on January 6, 2020.
Reduction/changes in district office services (approx. $13-14 million)
These reductions include both operational efficiencies as well as the creation and deletion of certain positions. The non-personnel related reductions include changes in services and increased efficiencies. Non-personnel related reductions will be reflected in the district’s 2020-2021 budget which will be presented to the Board in the late spring. Learn more about the personnel-related reductions that were approved by the Board on Feb. 18.
School closures and consolidations (approx. $2-$3 million)
Effective in the 2020-2021 school year, Grimes, Jones, and Wright elementary schools will close and Mark Twain Elementary School and Wayman Tisdale Fine Arts Academy will be consolidated in the Tisdale building. Learn more about school closures and consolidations.
Change to elementary staffing plan (approx. $3 million)
Effective in the 2020-2021 school year the elementary staffing plan will shift the staffing plan from allocating teachers based on grade-level ranges to allocating general education teachers based on school-wide enrollment. The staffing ratio at elementary will be 24:1, resulting in an anticipated average class size of 24 at elementary -- an average increase of one student. There will be no changes to the middle school or high school staffing plans. Learn more about the staffing plan.
- What will happen to the schools that are closing?
- Why were Jones, Wright, and Grimes recommended for closure? Why was Mark Twain recommended for consolidation?
- What will happen to the deaf education program at Wright?
- How is the district supporting students and teachers in the schools that will close or consolidate?
- Where will the students affected by closures and consolidations go?
- What is going to happen to the empty buildings?
- Will the buildings be leased to charter schools?
- How does the district plan to increase enrollment?
- What teams comprise the district office?
- When will we know what types of district services may be affected and reduced?
- Where can we find the district budget?
- How does the staffing plan affect elementary schools?
- Are the grade reconfigurations part of the budget redesign?
- Will you have a different enrollment period for families affected by the potential school closures and consolidation?
- What can community members do to help advocate for continued increases in state funding?
Our plan to shape a future with strong schools in every neighborhood:
- Create consistent grade configurations;
- Reduce the number of unsustainably small schools;
- Grow specialized programs in neighborhood schools such as dual language immersion and Montessori; and
- Improve the enrollment system to ensure an accessible, fair, and easy process.