Tim Gilpin, a member of the Oklahoma Board of Education, last week criticized legislative leaders for not calling a special session to address a $43 million cut in state aid to education over the past four months.
"Our legislators have not dedicated themselves to a special session in January to address this, and that really is Nero fiddling while Rome burns," Gilpin said during discussion of the recent 10% cut in public education at the board's December meeting.
State aid to education has been reduced by 5% a month due to declining revenue, but a severe drop in November revenue required a 10% reduction in December allocations.
State superintendent Sandy Garrett told the board that some districts will be forced to order furloughs for administrators and support staff, others will have to layoff employees, and some may even have to close their doors.
"This is putting our schools in some dire straits," Garrett said. "We were talking about, can we live with a 5% cut? Now we're talking about, can we live with a 10% cut?"