ARDMORE, Okla. -- Ardmore Public Schools are looking at ways to cut back to make up for the rising costs of fuel and utilities. The administration has decided to reduce five to six teaching and administrative positions in the districts.
Thankfully no one will lose their job. Officials have been able to rearrange teachers and principals to replace those who have retired or resigned.
That will save Ardmore’s schools about $250,000, but Superintendent Ruth Ann Carr says the board will have to come up with another $100,000 to operate in the black.
"Some schools were hit harder than others. Of course the larger schools are trying to cut more than smaller. We’ve heard a lot of talk at superintendent’s meetings about reducing the teaching force."
This is a problem for public schools across the state. The Oklahoma Department of Education asked lawmakers for $90 million more this year to help schools with operating costs. The budget Governor Brad Henry signed this week included just $4.5 million of that.
Senator Johnnie Crutchfield says wanted to increase funding for operations, but they made a commitment to raise teacher salaries to the regional average, and the budget doesn't allow them to do both.
Other schools in the area seem to be fairing a little better than Ardmore.
Durant ISD is looking at ways to reduce staffing when positions become open.
Districts like Davis and Healdton are looking at cutting the number of field trips, using less paper, or waiting another year to buy textbooks to keep that from happening.
The State Legislature increased school funding by $4.5 million this year.
That adds up to a little over $8,000 per district.