ATOKA, OK -- Atoka Public Schools is now without a high school and middle school principal as well as several other school faculty members.
In a special meeting Friday, the Atoka Board of Education voted not to re-employ the high school and middle school principals, 5 teachers and a library aid.
Jay McAdams, the new acting superintendent, said, "The Atoka Public Schools system are in an unfortunate situation where we cannot afford the number of employees that we had. So in a state law we had the opportunity to do a reduction in force."
McAdams says the layoffs were strictly for financial reasons.
He says the board voted to hire a new dean of students for the high school and one for the middle school, who will also serve as a part time math teacher.
McAdams will serve as principal for both schools if necessary.
He says since 5 teachers were let go, class sizes will increase but they hope to relieve overcrowding by switching from a 7 to 8 period school day.
McAdams said, "Expectations that we're gonna have on our teachers, on our administrators, on our community, on our parents are going to be the highest ever because I think our kids deserve that. Our kids deserve a quality education."
Parent and former Atoka Elementary School Principal Mary Rains says the cuts were expected since state education funding has been drastically cut over the past few years.
Rains said, "It's gonna take a lot of people that are willing to collaborate and work together in order to get it to a place to where it's not gonna be in the red it's gonna be in the black."
She says McAdams and the school board are doing all they can provide a good education for their kids.
Rains said, "I know he's going to try to create and bring that prosperity back into Atoka Schools."
McAdams says as of right now they do not plan to make any more cuts.