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Administrators prepare for May bond proposal

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Administrators prepare for bond issue
Administrators prepare for bond issue
Reported by: Janai Norman
Updated: 4/24/2013 5:16 pm Published: 4/24/2013 10:52 am

Next month voters will be asked to approve Smart and Secure, a $38 million bond issue for Tulsa Public Schools.

Tuesday district leaders met to discuss the bond issue they say will cost the average $100,000 dollar household about 10 cents a day.

Administrators say more than 50% of surveyed teachers said ideally each of the district’s 10,000 students should have a laptop of tablet. That won’t happen just yet, but if this bond passes, more than $15 million will go to make sure more laptops are accessible.

TPS Superintendent Dr. Keith Ballard says Tulsa Public Schools deal with a technology deficit every day. Administrators, like Ellen Deucker, say the proposed bond issue will help “by providing funding for the schools to use to purchase equipment, both for the teachers and for the students.”

FOX23 News found some of the big ticket items your money would fund. There’s the $15 million for classroom computers, tablets and software upgrades for students.

The second biggest price tag, $6 million, will go toward equipment for teachers. The goal is “standardize” the technology in all the district’s classrooms with devices like interactive whiteboards and wireless internet.

Deucker says, “Bond funds can't be used to staff schools, but they can be used to get great equipment into the hands of our teachers who will use that to teach more effectively.”

As safety is also a top priority, the third most costly item will be more than $3.5 million toward sprinkler systems, and installing them in the district’s 11 wood school building.

Other appropriations for the bond issue funds include $1.8 million for district wide wireless equipment, $3.7 million for multi-functioning printing equipment, and 2.75 million for district wide security upgrades, including a mass notification system in the case of emergencies.

Deucker says the biggest challenge in getting the bond pass is getting people out to vote.

“It's a single item election,” she says. “So it's the only thing that's going to be on the ballot May 14.”

Administrators say classroom technology items will be distributed at $337 per student, and the idea is to have desktop and laptop computers that are five years old or newer.

The bond required a super majority vote of 60%.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

Road rage - 5/4/2013 3:57 AM
0 Votes
Just say NO.

emilydenbo - 4/25/2013 11:25 PM
0 Votes
I read in another article that the cost of this tax raise to average residents would be around $3.38 increase in taxes per month. In the grand scheme of things this is nothing compared to the amazing things that can be done with this money. By allowing ALL children in the classroom to have access to the technology that many other schools already have you are ensuring that they have an equal chance at all educational tools and helping to close the gap between those who are fortunate to have technology tools to use at home, and those who are not so lucky. I believe this is a great idea that will benefit the teachers, students and eventually the entire community.
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