With no revenue cuts, furlough idea is stopped

After threatening employee furloughs due to an anticipated budget shortfall, Tulsa Superintendent Deborah Gist said there will be no furloughs after the Oklahoma Legislature made no cuts in common education.

The Tulsa School Board and Gist had planned to cut the pay of TPS employees with the furloughs because they had predicted a $12 million shortfall in state funding that didn’t materialize.

“While we are still reviewing and refining our district’s budget proposal for the coming year, we are confident that the furloughs will no longer be necessary,” Gist said on Facebook. “It’s important for everyone in the Tulsa Public Schools family to understand that while the proposed state budget could – effectively – ‘flat fund’ public education, we will move forward with our other recommended budget cuts.”

With Gist’s recommendation, the school board voted to close three schools in West Tulsa and eliminate some teaching jobs and non-teaching positions and those changes will stand at this point.

A private donation has averted cutbacks in the middle school athletic programs.