The Norman Transcript

Headlines

April 1, 2013

Debate ongoing for read or fail

(Continued)

NORMAN —

“There is never enough money to do all we can for students,” Teas said. “But we are prioritizing our funds to the best of our ability.”

It is difficult to compare per-pupil spending by Oklahoma and Florida on their reading laws because of the timing and targeting of the spending.

Unlike Oklahoma, Florida began offering extra reading-law money only the fiscal year the law took effect. From fiscal 2003 to 2005, Florida spent $10 million each year in federal money for training K-3 teachers, reading coaches and principals, according to state data. It also set aside $25 million in 2004 and 2005 for summer reading programs for mostly third-graders, but also some 12th-graders, who faced retention, according to state data. Adjusted for inflation, the total equates to about $97 million today.

If Barresi’s requests are approved, Oklahoma will have spent at least $23 million on the reading act from 2012 to 2014 for K-3. The state may appropriate additional money after the first wave of retained students.

Florida’s K-3 enrollment a decade ago was two and a half times Oklahoma’s K-3 enrollment today.

Regrets: Teas, the Mark Twain principal, says she has seen firsthand the negative impact that retention can have on a child. Her son, Zach, was held back in the second grade.

During his first year in second grade, Zach was put through tutoring and after-school programs and had a support system at home encouraging him to read, Teas said. In the end, she decided to hold him back.

Even now, her eyes water and her voice grows heavy when she talks about the decision, which Zach’s educators supported. She thinks the retention played a large part in Zach’s not having motivation later in school. He graduated from an alternative high school and did not attend college. He now works at a call center.

Zach, 21, of Tulsa, said he takes responsibility for his education path. He wants to pursue a career related to video games.

“It isn’t something you wish on your children,” Teas said about her son not attending college. “You want them to live up to their full potential.”

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

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Headlines
  • Junior Police Graduation First Junior Police Academy graduates

    The room went dark and a slideshow flipped through photos of children participating in the first Junior Police Academy as kids chattered excitedly, remembering what they had done over the past two weeks. Norman Police Department hosted ...

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Officials say transparency lacking in Wal-Mart zoning

    Norman city staff recently admitted to withholding information from the public regarding a controversial zoning change in southeast Norman. If approved by the city council, the proposal will allow a Wal-Mart supercenter at Cedar Lane and ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Air Algerie jet crashes with 116 on board

    OUAGADOUGO, Burkina Faso — An Air Algerie jetliner carrying 116 people crashed Thursday in a rainstorm over restive Mali, and its wreckage was found near the border of neighboring Burkina Faso — the third major international aviation ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Nonprofit raises $3.9M-plus for new center

    The Center for Children and Families, a United Way of Norman partner agency, announced Thursday that it exceeded its public fundraising goal of $3.5 million and raised more than $3.9 million to complete the purchase and renovation of a ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Bad year won’t dampen peachy tradition

    PORTER — A rusting, silver-colored water tower tells visitors to this rural town between Muskogee and Tulsa that they’ve come to the “Peach Capitol of Oklahoma.” Residents of Stratford, the state’s other self-proclaimed peach capital, ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Union Market opens this fall on campus

    Shelves are being stocked as employees buzz around like busy bees and activities are in the last stages of prep as the University of Oklahoma anticipates the opening of its new eatery Union Market, located in the Oklahoma Memorial Union in ...

    July 26, 2014

  • OU football recruit under investigation in assault case

    An attorney representing Joe Mixon confirmed Friday evening that the highly-recruited Oklahoma running back is being investigated by Norman Police in connection with an incident in which a woman suffered multiple facial fractures early ...

    July 26, 2014

  • Campus Cornerassault

    Norman Police responded to an alleged aggravated assault at the Campus Corner Pickelmans Gourmet Cafe early Friday morning....

    July 26, 2014

  • U.S.: Russia firing across border

    KIEV, Ukraine — Russia is launching artillery attacks from its soil on Ukrainian troops and preparing to move heavier weaponry across the border, the U.S. and Ukraine charged Friday in what appeared to be an ominous escalation of the ...

    July 26, 2014

  • McCain: Arizona execution ‘torture’

    TUCSON, Ariz. — U.S. Sen. John McCain says the execution of an Arizona inmate that lasted two hours was torture....

    July 26, 2014