State budget cuts could soon lead to teacher layoffs in Ardmore

By: Dara Downs Email
By: Dara Downs Email

ARDMORE, OK - Last month Oklahoma cut funding for all agencies receiving state funding by ten percent, which includes funding for education. Dara Downs is in the Ardmore newsroom with how local schools are dealing with less money.

Education has been hard hit by the budget cuts made in Oklahoma. Ardmore schools says they've cut back on spending drastically, but fear if the cuts continue they could be forced to cut teachers.

The budget cuts the state was forced to take in 2009 are carrying over into the new year, forcing schools to cut from every area of spending. The Ardmore City Schools says it has already cut spending on bus routes and might have to forgo this years adoption of new textbooks.

''We are looking at math this year and in all probability we will keep our old books and use them another year," Ardmore City Schools superintendent Dr. Ruth Ann Carr says.

Dr. Carr says Ardmore Schools have done the best they can with the cuts, but with 85 percent of the schools budget in salaries teachers could be the next ones to go.

''We have to have electricity, we have run the buses, so those things we've cut them about as far as we can so yes about the only place left is going to be in personnel,' Dr. Carr says.'

Oklahoma State Representative Samson Buck says the across-the-board cuts were necessary because Oklahoma is required to have a balanced budget.

''They're very real, and we understand that but we are required by law to make them, and it's not an easy time," Buck said.

Buck says when the legislature reconvenes in February it will address the need to tap into the state's Rainy Day Fund, as well as using the rest of the stimulus money the state got last year.

"We have $600 million in in the Rainy Day Fund, and that will be used and also we did not use all of our stimulus money we only procreated half of that.''

Dr. Carr says while help might be on the way the immediate effects of the cuts are very hard to take.

"We people have to lose jobs when you have to cut services to children. It is very devastating."

According to officials Oklahoma's budget for state agencies is down almost $1.5 million from what it was projected to be in 2010, and because Oklahoma must have a balanced budget they say more cuts are likely to come.

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  • by Jason on Apr 15, 2010 at 05:06 PM
    Until the community decides to support the school system, the school system will be poor in Ardmore. The school district has not been able to pass one bond, because the community doesn’t support the school. A complaint against the middle school accusing it of failing at its job screaming for teachers to be fired. All the while, the middle school received a blue ribbon award for school. No apologies, just complaints. My proposal is to quit busing the kids. Law requires the school provide transportation for students that live farther than 1.5 miles from the school. I would draw a 1.5 mile circle around the broke down elementary buildings that the public loves so much and force parents to bring those kids to school. Then when they don’t send their kid, send truancy officers to arrest the parents. I bet Ardmore would pass a bond then!
  • by sue Location: oklahoma on Jan 22, 2010 at 02:42 PM
    Why is that in any group of comments, it all ends up a Democrat/liberal vs Republican/conservative argument? Shut up about which side is doing wrong and STOP the wrong-doing. Or at least concentrate on it and stop bad-mouthing whichever side you're against. And by the way, why isn't the State handing this mess to Brad Henry, who ASSURED us that voting in casino gambling would solve all our budget woes. Never mind that it didn't work in Texas or in any other state it's been tried in. Let Brad handle it.
  • by Jean Location: Ardmore on Jan 19, 2010 at 06:53 PM
    Good one fuzzy. One person mentions a strike that won't happen and you automatically assume all teachers are too stupid to keep a job. You're a real peice of work. Actually, I was thinking of another word besides "work". Are all your comments full of hate, stupidity and ignorance, or just the last couple of dozen you have posted?
  • by Fozzy Location: Ardmore on Jan 19, 2010 at 12:46 PM
    YES!!! Please go on an illegal strike! Ronald Reagan showed those types of dimwits how to deal with those sort. There are out of work teachers all over the country who would gladly take a teaching job from someone who is obviously too stupid to keep a job when they have one.
  • by Marcus Location: Texoma on Jan 19, 2010 at 10:14 AM
    It's past time to get really P@#$#!@ off folks. This is YOUR childrens one and only education opportunities at stake here. Take action and force them to do what YOU ,the citizen, want because it's US that are paying for THEM.
  • by Krs on Jan 18, 2010 at 05:25 PM
    Vote Pat Ownbey out!! Im sick of his education inprovement lies!
  • by Franco Location: Southmaid on Jan 18, 2010 at 05:01 PM
    I think Oklahoma teachers should go on strike. Oh, I forgot. Our crooked legislature passed a law making teacher strikes illegal in Oklahoma. They should go on an illegal strike then.... let mom and dad watch the little darlings for a month or so and education would GET funded, or the legislators would be fired!
  • by Bill on Jan 18, 2010 at 04:31 PM
    We in Sherman will trade Hambrick for her he knows how to lay off and cut teacher benefits while makinf 153,000 per year plus a Yukon and can cash in unused vacation days for money. We will trade in a heart beat. Oh and by the way he will do what ever the board tells him.
  • by Willy Location: Oklahomastan on Jan 18, 2010 at 11:14 AM
    That's right Margie. We have the two worst U.S. Senators in Washington. They have a vested intrest in keeping the kids of Oklahoma in the dark ages. They need a less intelligent population that can be manipulated by the Far right wackos with their fear of anything that stands in the way of their obstructionist agenda. Their entire platform is nothing but anti-Democrat/Obama rhetoric with no helpful input into anything that could help this country out of recession. They have offered nothing on healthcare except to stand in the way of ANY proposals made by ANY Democrat. They want nothing but to kill any legislation whatsoever put forth by the President or his party. If they’re not part of the solution, they’re part of the problem. So far. Their solution has been to do nothing but obstruct progress at all cost to the American people. Offering nothing, other than trying to convince those who are easily fooled that anything the Dems want is bad for them. Keep those kids dumb. For their sake.
  • by Wilbur Location: Texoma on Jan 18, 2010 at 11:02 AM
    I agree with the firing of coaches. Sports and entertainment should come secondary to education and face it, we all know the teaching jobs that football coaches do are a joke. Get some real teachers in there to educate our kids, pay the teachers what they are worth (hint, they work WAY harder than the superintendents do) and STOP tolerating getting dumped on by the system.
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