MULDROW (KFSM) -- Public schools in Oklahoma are feeling the strain of the budget crisis now more than ever after voters chose not to pass State Question 779, which would have put $650 million back into the education system, on Nov. 8.
“If we don`t have the money for that, then how are the kids going to, you know, go on to college,” Genia Morris said.
Morris said she voted in favor of the penny sales tax, but Betty Chase said she was against it.
“When I start seeing them put prayer back in school, start teaching them to be more respectful of God and country, I`ll start back voting for them to put more money back in school,” Chase said.
The superintendent of Muldrow Public Schools said it’s now up to lawmakers in Oklahoma to do something about the budget crisis.
“You cannot have a strong state or strong economy without that educational foundation,” Ron Flanagan said, “so we look forward to working with them over the next legislative session to find some ways to improve our funding.”
He said teachers haven’t had a raise since 2008, and they were very disheartened the day after Election Day. If the measure had passed, every teacher in the state would have gotten a $5,000 raise.
“It’s real easy for a person here to go to Fort Smith or go to Van Buren and find another job,” Flanagan said.
In the meantime, the school has not had to make any cuts just yet, but their budget is getting tighter.
“We continue to provide the same education that we have and will continue to do that as long as it`s humanly possible,” Flanagan said.
He said if the measure had passed, they would have brought back AP courses that had low enrollment. Right now Muldrow Schools has to alternate which AP classes are offered from year to year.