State’s budget woes continue to challenge school districts
BAPS looks to keep budget cuts from impacting classrooms
As you know, the State of Oklahoma's budget is in dire straights. The revenue shortfall will trickle down to education, so as a district, we are planning for the impact. The State Legislature was supposed to release the approved budget for next fiscal year on April 1 - but as we all know, that deadline has come and gone and the approved budget has yet to be released.
One of our neighboring school districts has been very vocal about their plan to absorb cuts to their budget, but until the State approves next year's budget, school districts will not know the exact percentage or dollar amount. We have been told by state officials that cuts could be anywhere from 3-14%, so we are preparing scenarios for cuts at 3, 5, and 10%. Given these percentages, our district could be cut anywhere from $1.4 to $4.6 million.
As always, our objective is to keep cuts as far away from the classroom as possible. Last spring, the community participated in a survey to garner public opinion on prioritizing cuts. Broken Arrow Public Schools (BAPS) was able to implement many of the community's suggestions, saving the district more than $4 million dollars. Those same cost-saving measures will be implemented next year, but because of continued cuts, the district will look to additional ways to save money.
Until the State approves a budget, we do not know the exact dollar amount that BAPS will be cut. What we do know for sure is that we will be able to retain our staff without furloughs, we will keep our academic and extra-curricular programming, and we will continue to do everything possible to prevent these cuts from impacting our classroom. We may have to shuffle staff roles, but in doing so it will allow us to continue providing the academic and extra-curricular programming our students deserve.
We will continue to inform our staff, parents and community whenever we have updated information to share. I also encourage you to review the detailed information presented to the Board of Education during the Monday, April 10 meeting. To view the presentation, please click here.
We are so very grateful to our teachers and sites; they bear the brunt of these challenges, and yet, their heart for children keeps moving this district – and this state – forward.