Note: This story was written for The Daily Oklahoman’s South Metro section and published December 6, 1983.
State shortage cuts 11 percent from district till
By Dennis Whiteman
Midwest City-Del City public schools will lose $2.07 million in state aid over the next five months because of the state money shortage, education officials say.
The state aid cut for Mid-Del schools represents cuts by more than 11 percent in the $18,625,459 the system would have received from the state this year. The new total is $16,555,964.
Dr. Lewis “Babe” Eubanks, Mid-Del superintendent, said he had not yet heard official estimates from the state Board of Education finance division when contacted Friday afternoon.
“We’ll just start freezing everything,” Eubanks said. “But we won’t know anything until we get something the state board.”
The Mid-Del cutback is part of $79.9 million in reductions to common schools statewide, including about $10 million lost to Oklahoma County schools. Oklahoma County schools will absorb about 15 percent of the total state reductions.
Mid-Del schools will lose more than any state school system other than the Oklahoma City district.
The state provides 76.82 percent of Mid-Del’s money, including state dedicated aid, such as automobile license and gross production taxes.
The state also helps pay for the gift ed and talented programs, supplemental textbooks, teacher and support salaries, and other programs.
Pam Deering of the finance division staff said most reductions will come from foundation and incentive aid, plus money the state sends back to the districts for teacher and support personnel salaries.
Deering said the department had already made full payments to school districts in other aid items such as transportation and textbooks. Figures released by the finance division trace the impact of the average 22.6 percent slash schools will face for the remainder of the fiscal year.
Choctaw-Nicoma Park schools are expected to lose $533,843 in state aid because of the cuts.
“We’ve got enough in reserve to handle it this year,” said Dr. L.W. Westfall, Choctaw-Nicoma Park superintendent. “Before another year, if the Legislature doesn’t do something and we don’t get some relief, we’ll be in trouble.”
Westfall said he told his department heads there would be no capital outlays this year beyond contracts to which the district is already committed. Capital outlays ,Westfall said, includes all teaching equipment, but doesn’t include supplies, utilities or maintenance on school buses.
“You’ve got to pay your electric and your gas for school buses,” he said.
Westfall said the district will put off buying anything other than essential items. He said school board members were aware state aid cuts might occur and he had told them to expect to lose about half a million dollars.