The Edmond Sun

Local News

March 25, 2014

Schools prep for big public education rally

EDMOND — Edmond parent-teacher organizations are paying for school buses that will transport pro-education forces to a key rally at the state Capitol.

At 10:30 a.m. Monday, school employees from across the state will rally for about 90 minutes on the south steps of the Capitol. The event is being sponsored by the Oklahoma Education Coalition.

Edmond Public Schools is urging administrators, parents, support organizations and citizens to participate in the rally. Edmond’s goal is 10 percent faculty participation in addition to support from parents and support organizations.

Edmond’s school board passed a resolution supporting the rally, but classes will not be canceled.

Board President Lee Ann Kuhlman said her fellow members urge parents, students and business leaders unable to attend to contact their representative in the Legislature to make them aware of the severe consequences of the budget shortfall.

“The lack of funding will directly affect the quality of public education statewide,” Kuhlman said.

By a 6-1 vote, members of the Tulsa Public Schools’ school board canceled classes. Members stated they made the decision because student academic achievement is being negatively impacted as a result of funding cuts to public education. A professional day will be used to make up the missed day.

Oklahoma Education Association President Linda Hampton said organizers anticipate 25,000 people will attend. Supporters will be encouraged to go into the Capitol and talk to lawmakers, Hampton said.

“It would be hard to ignore their voice,” she said.

Edmond Public Schools says a funding shortage is forcing the district to cut $4 million from its budget for the coming fiscal year.

Administrators say since 95 percent of the district’s budget covers personnel costs, it will be impossible to make such cuts without affecting personnel. Positions will be eliminated resulting in larger class sizes and possibly program reductions.

Furthermore, Edmond’s award-winning public school system is often cited as one of the primary reasons people relocate here.  

“Legislative action must be immediate to address current funding inadequacies or we will have no choice but to increase class sizes and possibly reduce programs and staff,” Superintendent David Goin said.

Since 2008-09, funding for public schools in Oklahoma has been cut 23 percent — about $200 million, according to the Oklahoma Education Association. Since that time, statewide student growth has exceeded 30,000 students; Edmond serves 2,700 more students. Hampton said during that same period, the number of teachers declined statewide by more than 1,500.

“It’s not an overstatement to say that we are in a funding crisis — perhaps the worst that I have seen in my more than 30 years in education,” Goin said.

Hampton said Peter Markes, the 2014 Oklahoma Teacher of the Year and Edmond North High School’s director of orchestras, will speak during the rally. So will speakers from the Oklahoma Policy Institute, the National School Board Association, Tulsa Public Schools and students from Norman Public Schools.

Some Edmond parent-teacher organizations are paying $101.25 per bus to help transport supporters at 9:15 a.m. to the rally from Frontier City, located just north of Interstate 35 and Hefner Road, said Edmond Public Schools spokeswoman Susan Parks-Schlepp. The total number of buses will be tallied later in the week, Parks-Schlepp said.

Edmondites who want to travel on a sponsored bus are urged to contact their school’s PTO for additional information and to be included in the count for purposes of bus scheduling, Parks-Schlepp said.

“No district funds will be spent on bus transportation to the rally,” said Lori Smith, Edmond’s chief financial officer.

Same goes for Tulsa Public Schools, citing the relevant state law.

Edmond Public Schools occasionally rents buses to outside groups for various reasons, Parks-Schlepp said. Past and future renters have included the City of Edmond, the YMCA and the Francis Tuttle Technology Center, Parks-Schlepp said.

Additionally, buses will be shuttling supporters at Remington Park and Tinseltown Cinema, located just south of Interstate 44 on Martin Luther King. Shuttles will run to and from the Capitol from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.  

To read the Edmond school board’s resolution supporting the rally and for more information about school funding, visit edmondschools.net.

marks@edmondsun.com | 341-2121, ext. 108

1
Text Only
Local News
  • MS_prisons 1.JPG DOC action could save $36.8 million annually

    The Oklahoma Department of Corrections expects to avert more than 2,100 offenders by 2021 saving more than $36.8 million annually, an audit states.
    Tuesday, State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones  released the results of a performance audit of the DOC that was requested by Gov. Mary Fallin. The audit for the period July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2013, distinctly focused on governance, financial management and capacity management.
    Audit recommendations included:

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • food bank.jpg Regional Food Bank receives donation

    At a special celebration event Wednesday, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation announced that over the last fiscal year they gave more than $30 million in cash and in-kind contributions to charitable organizations throughout Oklahoma. Additionally, the retailer and its Foundation have partnered with local food banks to provide more than 15 million pounds of food to residents.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man allegedly assaults officer on Tinker AFB

    A metro man faces an assault complaint after he allegedly nearly struck a federal officer with a vehicle during a pursuit that began as a traffic stop on Tinker Air Force Base, court records show.
    Sanford C. Coats, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma, said Wednesday a criminal complaint was unsealed charging James Williams, 60, of Del City, with assaulting a federal officer with a dangerous weapon.

    July 30, 2014

  • NAMI classes begin in September

    NAMI Edmond North-OKC, the local organization of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, will offer its Family-to-Family Education Program beginning Sept. 2. It will contine Sept. 4 and 8-9. Classes will be at Crossings Community Church, Quail Springs United Methodist Church, Francis Tuttle Technology Center (Portland campus), Tinker AFB Chapel and the Thunderbird Club House in Norman.
    NAMI Family-to-Family is a free 12-session education program for family caregivers of adults living with mental illness. The sessions are offered once a week for a few hours each.

    July 30, 2014

  • drugs 1.jpg K9 hot on drug trail

    An Oklahoma County deputy and his K9 partner have logged another impressive drug seizure, records show.
    Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Mark Myers said Monday a deputy noticed a car weaving and straddling lanes on I-40 near the Meridian Avenue exit. Myers said the deputy stopped the vehicle and spoke with the two people inside.
    The driver and passenger told conflicting stories about their trip, Myers said. The deputy also smelled marijuana inside of the vehicle, Myers said.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • City spends $1.7 million on ITS

    Public safety will benefit by the Intelligent Transportation System with its implementation by the City of Edmond, said Steve Commons, assistant city manager.
    More vehicles are added to traffic volume as Edmond’s population grows. ITS connects all of the city’s traffic signals in order to improve traffic flow in present time with greater efficiency, Commons said Wednesday.
    “Some of that can be done through computer automation that tracks how traffic is changing,” Commons said.

    July 30, 2014

  • clinic 1.jpg Edmond church to host free eye clinic

    An Edmond church and Feed the Children are partnering to provide a free eye clinic.
    Individuals will be able to receive a free vision test and free prescription eye glasses from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 9 at the Waterloo Road Baptist Church, 3100 E. Waterloo Road. All ages are welcome and registration is not required.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • weather 1.jpg July could be coolest in weather record books

    With chances for soaking rains and unseasonably cool temperatures becoming frequent, a weather expert is increasingly convinced Oklahoma will end up with a historic July.
    At mid-afternoon Tuesday, the National Weather Service forecast for Edmond called for the high Wednesday to be near 73 with a 90 percent chance of heavy rain, followed by the high Thursday near 78 with a 30 percent chance of showers.
    Highs are expected to remain in the 80s into Monday.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Downtown Master Plan accepted by council

    The 2014 Downtown Master Plan Study was accepted by a 3-0 vote Tuesday evening by the Edmond City Council.
    Fort Worth-based consulting group Freese and Nichols presented their final update to the 1998 Downtown Master Plan. The city hired the group at a cost of $300,000 to make recommendations for future development of Broadway in the central business district.
    “There are clearly some short-term (parking) options that we feel should move forward,” said Cody Richardson, of Freese and Nichols consultants of Fort Worth. “Better signage at existing parking lots.”

    July 29, 2014

  • UCO forensic volunteer wants to aid more agencies

    A four-person group of forensic investigators who volunteer their time to help smaller Oklahoma police departments isn’t enough to meet demand, a member said.
    Kama King, who recently completed her graduate research and will be a member of the faculty at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Forensic Science Institute, said outside of full-time jobs, members of the group volunteer to assist these agencies.
    As her career progresses, King hopes to help establish a permanently funded organization available to any agency in the state to assist in remains recovery as well as related training.

    July 29, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show'
Poll

The runoff race for the 5th District congressional seat is set for Aug. 26. If the voting were today, which candidate would you support?

Al McAffrey
Tom Guild
Undecided
     View Results