|Updated: 9/26/2012 5:42 pm
||Published: 9/26/2012 8:47 am
Governor Mary Fallin makes a stop in Tulsa fielding some tough questions from parents concerned about their children’s schools. Hundreds attended a town hall meeting at OSU-Tulsa.
It was clear people who attended the meeting are worried about the state of education here in Oklahoma, specifically, the lack of funding and oversized classrooms. There was a special question and answer portion afterwards where many people were able to ask the Governor direct questions.
"What is your plan for the next year to increase funding into the classrooms, as well as funding those mandates that you have provided but aren't being funded,” asked mom of three, Marlow Perkins Sipes.
"We do have to get that money to the classroom and we have to make sure it's getting where it needs to be. As we continue to grow Oklahoma's economy we are going to have the resources to provide for central services like education, public safety, health care and those sorts of things,” says Governor Fallin.
It was not exactly the answer that Perkins Sipes was looking for.
"I feel like the governor did not answer my question. She skirted around the question very well and did not answer it,” says Perkins Sipes.
Area education leaders felt the same way.
"I heard little substance on the subject of education. Rather I heard, reform, reform, reform,” says Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Keith Ballard.
"She did answer it maybe a little bit, but I do feel like there was a little bit of a disconnect. Maybe she didn't fully understand the question,” says PLAC director, Melissa Abdo.
At one point during the discussion, the Governor let her education secretary do the talking.
'We are selecting a credible consulting firm who will come in and take a hard look at the K-12 or common education system starting with governance, organization and the way we are funding it.”
Over the last three years, TPS alone has lost more than 22 million dollars in state education funding. Statewide, the drop in education funding totals 250 million dollars.