Some OK public schools say the situation has become dire due to - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Some OK public schools say the situation has become dire due to budget cuts

WESTVILLE, OK (KTUL)- Westville Public Schools says things have gotten worse due to the state’s current budget crisis.

“We’re losing teachers not just to Arkansas, we’re losing them to Oklahoma. I’ve had several resign, I’ve got several coaching positions open,” said Terry Heustis, superintendent of Westville Public Schools.

According to KTUL, Heustis said lawmakers in Oklahoma City trying to figure out how to fund education don’t have a clue.

Teachers are being bled dry and robbed of any optimism. Heustis and teachers are now forced to work together to help clean the school.

“We are failing, failing miserably. If I had failed as bad in my job, I would not be here still, eight years as superintendent,” said Heustis.

Classrooms aren’t cleaned every day. Heustis was driving a bus route. He’s avoided filling much-needed teaching positions.

“We’ve got to make sure we don’t have 30 kids in a classroom,” said Heustis. “It’s tough, the school business is really tough right now.”

He said the school has reached a point where it can’t handle any more cuts. He doesn’t know if some of his newer teachers will even have a job next school year.

“What we’re doing is insane. We’re doing the same thing over and over again, it’s the definition of insanity,” said Heustis.

In smaller communities, districts could be forced to completely shut down.

With an almost 20 percent cut from their budget, Panola School District may close the doors for good.

“It’s hard to pay for your electric,” says Superintendent Brad Corcoran. “Your gas, your buses, your insurance, everything.”

Panola Public Schools just more than 150 kids, K-12.

“Parents are very afraid and nervous about what holds for them and their children,” says Corcoran.

They’re about $120,000 short to keep the doors open next year. It doesn’t sound like much compared to the $12 million Tulsa Public Schools has to find. But, to a small district, it’s a catastrophic figure.

Information provided by KTUL.

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