Budget cuts force Okla. school to cut class days

By: Dara Downs Email
By: Dara Downs Email

MILBURN, OK - Public schools in Oklahoma were handed a 10% cut from the state budget in December, forcing schools across the state to make cuts in spending. Dara Downs reports on how one local school is dealing with the budget shortfall.

Students at Milburn Public schools received letters this week stating that there would be no school on Fridays in April, and that the school year would end four days earlier than originally set, leaving some in the community wondering how and why these days were cut.

The recent cut has parents in Milburn like Raymond Hairell worried that their students won't receive valuable hours of classroom instruction that they need

"The people of Milburn school district need to know why or what's going on, and the reason we're going to cut 5 percent of the school year off or more," Hairell says.

But Milburn Superintendent Jon Holmes says Oklahoma law supports his cut to the calendar.

"Due to the financial status of the state and school funding and the 1,080 hours giving us the ability to cut some days out of my calendar toward the end, I have went with 1,080 hours," Holmes says.

Holmes says shaving off ten days will save the district close to $900 each day in operational costs that it takes to support the districts 210 students, or close to $10,00 in all.

But even with that savings Holmes says he will be forced to cut up to 5 staff positions from the district by June 30, including custodians, teachers, and administrators.

"Anytime you take a job away from anyone in a community this size you're going to have some negative impact to it. It would be great and wonderful if we didn't have to do that, but to keep school operations moving along the way that they need to, this is something that had to be done."

Holmes says although the cuts are drastic they will not affect the quality of education at Milburn, but parents like Raymond Hairell believe more should be done to make sure their kids are getting the education they deserve.

"Then somebody needs to go to work and straighten the school budgets out. Get whoever is at fault needs to step up to the plate and do the right thing to let our kids get an education."

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