Oklahoma education budget crisis affects Ada school district

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ADA, OK "We've got to do a better job. Our state's better than this," Mike Anderson said.

Ada City Schools Superintendent Mike Anderson says his district lost nearly $400,000 in state aid since January and he expects that decline to continue.

"The financial condition of the state of Oklahoma does not allow proper funding for education or any state agency for that matter," Anderson said.

Anderson says budget cuts are nothing new to Oklahoma educators, but this year's cuts have a greater impact.

"Where I've been for the last 7 or 8 years is been disappointed or disillusioned, that's changed now to just being angry and somewhat embarrassed for the state of Oklahoma," Anderson said.

Higher education is suffering too.

East Central University officials say the budget crisis is affecting student-interest in the teaching field.

"We try to talk into them about becoming a teacher, the interest is just not there," College of Education Dean Brenda Sherbourne said.

But one Ada principal isn't letting the problem overwhelm her.

"While our state may not value education the way that we would like for them to, this community does," Cindy Brady said.

Brady is working to enhance students learning experience through an interactive park at the early childhood school, paid for by private donations.

"We're calling it a literacy park where students can be engaged actively in their learning still learning the basic Oklahoma academic standards that we are you know required to teach," Brady said.

Anderson says he know more cuts are imminent, but hopes the legislature steps in.

"What I would challenge those in charge is to be statesmen, to be leaders and to step up and do what's right," Anderson said.