BAPS Superintendent Dr. Janet Dunlop discusses additional budget cuts and its impact on students
Last week, I shared with our staff and public that Oklahoma has once again declared a revenue failure and that Common Education would be cut by $11.1 million statewide. To Broken Arrow Public Schools, that cut translated to roughly $293,000 or $10.09 less per student.
Unfortunately, that news was the tip of the iceberg. On Friday, Feb. 24, the State announced that the Education Reform Revolving Fund (HB1017) was also being reduced, resulting in additional cuts for districts already reeling from a second consecutive year of revenue failure. This additional cut is deep and takes our district from a $293,000 cut to a hit of more than $1.2 million. That means that BAPS will receive $42 less per student than we currently receive. This is the latest information we have on budget cuts.
Once again, because BAPS has been proactive in preparing for these cuts, we are able to weather the storm through this school year. But the State’s budget crisis is continually evolving, forcing districts across the state to make hard decisions in preparation for the 2017-18 school year. We will continue to closely monitor the impact the state budget crisis has on BAPS and will take proactive measures to do everything we can to keep this impact away from our classrooms as much as we can.
In an effort to plan for next school year, we will revisit the goals and objectives that parents, staff and the community prioritized through the budget survey captured last spring. Our first priority is our classrooms, and we will try our best to adhere to the community’s wishes to keep those cuts away from the classroom.
The continuous erosion of funding to Common Education has cost this state exponentially during the past several years. Oklahoma has cut public school funding by 26.9 percent since 2008, resulting in the deepest cuts in the nation. Our kids deserve better. Our teachers deserve better. You, as a resident of the city of Broken Arrow and the state of Oklahoma, deserve better. Whether you are a teacher, a parent, a grandparent, a neighbor – our children are an investment.
Remember, there is still time for our state leaders to address the problem. If you would like to contact our legislators, accessing the following links will provide you with a list of our House Members and Senate Members. If you prefer to call our legislators, text your ZIP code to 520-200-2223 to receive a text message with their names and phone numbers.
For more information on how these budget cuts impact our students, please view our education funding graphic.
As always, thank you for your support and your commitment to Broken Arrow Public Schools.
Dr. Janet Dunlop
Superintendent of Broken Arrow Public Schools