Tulsa Public Schools closed down on Tuesday, after nearly a year of shutdowns that have left some teachers without jobs.
The closure came as a huge blow to Charlotte Mecklenberg schools, which had faced financial difficulties and had received thousands of applications from parents for new teachers, but also a growing demand for new classroom space, and to meet new state standards for teacher evaluation.
The state said teachers would not be paid until the end of June, and there was also no word on how many teachers would be on the payroll at the end.
Schools closed on Tuesday in Charlotte, North Carolina, as the state prepares for the start of a two-year school year.
The state’s chief financial officer, Jeff Sowers, told reporters on Tuesday that there would be no further information to release.
Tulsa, a predominately white city of 1.2 million, was a model of financial success when the city was founded in the 1960s, but it has been struggling since 2009.
Its finances were severely strained by budget shortfalls and the collapse in the value of the local real estate market.
But the school district has struggled for years to meet the state’s ambitious standards for teachers and evaluations, and it is one of the worst-performing districts in the country.
School districts across the state have also been forced to close, in the last several years, due to severe budget cuts.
A new state law allows schools to close for a limited period if the state deems the need to do so for safety or academic reasons.
Teachers in Charlotte were paid the full salary for the last two weeks of the school year, but the state has said that teachers would only receive the base rate of $9 per hour, with no overtime or sick leave.
“The state has decided to close down TPS for the duration of this school year,” Chief Financial Officer Jeff Sower told reporters in a statement on Tuesday.
“It is our hope that these teachers will have the time and resources to re-hire, re-train and re-equip as soon as possible.”
“We understand the challenges teachers face in this situation and want to be supportive of them in finding new jobs,” Sowers added.
“We appreciate that the community and the teachers are ready to help with any support they can provide.”
The state also announced that it had closed the schools of five elementary schools in the city, in addition to the one in the suburbs, and two middle schools in downtown Tulsa.
The closure will affect roughly 8,000 students, but Sowers said that the district was planning to hire more teachers.
Tulare County Public Schools said in a press release that it would remain open, though some staff will be reassigned to the Tulsa Public Schools.
Trees will be cut, but a few trees will be spared because of the severe weather, officials said.