The Norman Transcript

Headlines

April 10, 2013

Communities focus on education with forum

NORMAN — The Oklahoma League of Women Voters brought seven communities together Tuesday evening in a live-broadcast forum, Focus On Education, concentrating on issues facing public education in Oklahoma and fielding questions from viewers across the state.

Panelists David Blatt of the OK Policy Institute, Sharon Rodine of the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, and Oklahoma City charter school parent Dee Robinson — among others — spoke on the status of education funding, children in Oklahoma and parental impact on student scholarship, respectively.

“The state Senate Republicans called for an additional $75 million to $100 million in state funding for common education, but their plan is contingent upon there being no tax cut taking effect in 2014, but the plan being promoted by the governor and House would enact a 25 percent cut in income tax taking effect next year,” Blatt said. “So even with those additional funds, the situation would still be very tight.”

Calling attention to the ever-widening gap as tax revenue shrinks and educational needs grow, Blatt said correcting the “misaligned revenue” must be a major priority.

Rodine discussed the number of children in poverty in Oklahoma and the crucial importance of education in remedying the situation, stating that funding and policy could directly affect a positive shift in children’s well-being.

“We need to think bigger, broader and better,” Rodine said. “As we look at policies, too often Oklahoma takes a more punitive approach than is necessary.

“We can look at positive and productive solutions by investing and helping those who need the resources instead of threatening to flunk them.”

Robinson discussed the dire impact of under-funding as evidenced by her local school, ultimately contributing to her decision to send her son to Kipp College Preparatory charter school.

“You say that our children are obese and inactive, but without proper investment in local schools, they can’t afford to build playgrounds or gymnasiums for those children, nor can they employ full-time or even part-time gym teachers,” Robinson said.

“I work in downtown Oklahoma City. I see the money we’re putting into project 360 and building this momentum. Why can’t we can’t put this kind of money and momentum into our education?”

For more information on these and other issues in education funding, visit www.okpolicy.org.

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Braddy_1. Norman North teen struck by freight train recovering with therapy

    A Norman North teen struck by a freight train in May is on the road to recovery and ready to get back to school after spending most of his summer in a hospital. Harrison Braddy, 16, has been staying busy with rehab and physical therapy ...

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Storm victims face loan dilemma

    The tornadoes, flooding and hail that struck Oklahoma last year left hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage, causing many home and business owners to seek help in the form of low-interest federal loans....

    July 27, 2014

  • Teen critical after rescue

    A 17-year-old Yukon male was transported to the hospital Sunday after a near drowning incident at Lake Thunderbird in the Party Cove area. Emergency crews responded to the lake after a report of a possible drowning around 5:30 p.m. ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Migrant kids go to Mass

    The services have all the elements of a typical Sunday Mass — singing, scripture, a sermon, prayers, communion and worship....

    July 27, 2014

  • Injury accident reported

    Transcript Staff Emergency crews responded to an injury accident around 10:20 p.m. Sunday in the 1000 block of 80th Avenue Southeast where there were reports of someone pinned. Several reports indicated a vehicle struck a tree causing one ...

    July 28, 2014

  • Photo Slideshow: James Garner through the years

    Photos of James Garner...

    July 27, 2014

  • Prisons expand reach to bring training to more officers

    McALESTER — Joshua Drake once was offered the chance to be a corrections officer but turned it down because he didn’t want to leave his wife and aging parents for six weeks to train hundreds of miles away in El Reno....

    July 27, 2014

  • SWIMMER Aquatic center could serve many community needs

    Michael Yoch could have been the kid with asthma sitting on the sidelines — could have been, but wasn’t. Michael had trouble running because of his asthma, which made it difficult to play soccer and many other sports his friends loved. ...

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Director leaves decade of memories

    Maureen Dolan is giving up the post as director of St. Joseph’s Early Childhood Development Center, fondly called “St. Joe’s” by the many parents whose pre-school children have spent their weekdays under her care over the past 10 years....

    July 27, 2014

  • Health officials prepare for flu

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Following a flu season in which a record number of Oklahomans died as a result of the virus, state and county health officials say educating the public and general common sense are vital to reducing both the death rate and ...

    July 27, 2014