Oklahoma Schools Facing More Budget Cuts

MULDROW (KFSM) -- Schools in Oklahoma are facing another round of budget cuts.

The state of Oklahoma does not have enough money for school payrolls.

Muldrow Superintendent Ron Flanagan has been an educator for 32 years. He said the budget cuts in Oklahoma are at its worst.

"When I began in education in the 1980s, we were going through a money crisis at that time. The oil fields at that time began to shut down," Flanagan said. "In the 2000's, the same thing happened and we recovered relatively quickly. This has been a slow recovery process, which I don't see the end of it coming anytime soon."

The Oklahoma Department of Education notified school districts that the monthly support checks would be cut because the state account fell short about $36 million.

Each year school districts are given an estimated budget amount of what they will receive, now state leaders are telling them they will not receive as much as planned.

Flanagan said it means quite a bit of money for the Muldrow School District.

"For the entire school year we have been cut $212,185," he said.

Sallisaw has lost $280,000, Roland has lost $150,000 and Gore has lost $65,000.

To make up for the shortfall, the Muldrow School District has cut at least one bus route, they aren't filling open teacher positions and teachers are taking on more classes.

Some schools across the state have consolidated with other districts and some have gone to four day school weeks.

Muldrow doesn't have plans to do any of that, but if state budgets continue on this path educators said, "who knows?"

"We'll find ways to make up these deficits," Flanagan said.

Oklahoma school leaders said they are meeting with state legislators on a weekly basis in hopes of finding some relief to the school budget crisis.