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TPS Superintendent Keith Ballard Discusses Project Schoolhouse

By Rich Fisher


Tulsa, Oklahoma – Today on StudioTulsa, we chat with Dr. Keith Ballard, the Superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools. Speaking to us by phone, Dr. Ballard describes, in some detail, the three proposals --- known simply as A, B, and C --- that were recently announced as part of the extensive TPS efficiency-study known as Project Schoolhouse (which was initiated last fall). Since these plans call for as many as 17 TPS buildings to be closed, this is an issue that has many citizens throughout the Tulsa area acutely concerned. Yet something, it seems, must be done. In the face of severe budgetary cutbacks at the state level, and given that the TPS now utilizes more than 100 school buildings to serve approximately 41,000 students, with 10,000 "empty seats" scattered throughout those buildings --- by comparison, when the TPS last served a total enrollment of 41,000, back in 1952, its overall number of buildings was 56 --- closings and consolidations throughout the TPS network seem all but inevitable. As Dr. Ballard puts it in our show today, the main goal here is for everyone to compare the three plans and then come up with "the best plan" --- which will actually be a new (or fourth) plan that draws upon various merits and ideas from A, B, and C. (For more information on this matter, please see this page at the TPS website --- http://www8.tulsaschools.org/4_About_District/project_sh_proposals.asp.)