|Updated: 6/19/2012 5:30 pm
||Published: 6/19/2012 4:01 pm
A $1.2 million dollar donation to Tulsa Public Schools will provide relief for one more year.
For the second time, an anonymous donor is stepping up to help fill the budget gap in education. But is it enough? Local teachers are worried this is just a band-aid to a bigger problem.
Keary King is an English teacher and soccer coach at Hale High School. He and many other teachers like him were ecstatic at the news of a second donation to TPS. For Keary, it means more time to do a job he loves.
"I’m an optimist and I would like to think that it's not just a one year deal,” says King.
But he’s also a realist and knows that at any moment his job could go.
"I do have a 7 year old daughter and it does get tough sometimes and it is scary knowing that you may be on the trim list,” King says.
Tim Gilpin is a former school board member at Tulsa Public Schools. Although he’s grateful the money will buy another year on the job, he’s concerned this is only a short-fix to a long-term problem too.
"We're stuck in a situation where our school districts have to go begging for money just to do the basics,” says Gilpin.
With the state coming out of the recession and tax revenues up, Gilpin says Oklahoma needs to be able to rely on state government to fund education and not lean on private donors. Regardless, teachers like Keary are putting their best foot forward.
“It’s the hand that we're dealt and we've got kids that are going to show up every single day that need us and want us, so we're going to be here and that's what we're going to do,” says King.
Previously in June, another private donor gave over $600,000 to help save teacher positions. Both donations combined saved 45 teacher positions so far.
The district will fill 19 open administrative positions with teacher jobs and TPS will pay the remaining spots with the Superintendent’s reserve fund.