The Tulsa, Okla., Board of Education is turning to voters to help fund school technology modernization. On April 5, the Board voted to hold a bond election on June 8 for voters to consider the $414 million 2021 Bond for Tulsa Public Schools. If passed, the funding would be doled out over the next five years.
“Bonds have become a critical source for funding the day-to-day maintenance and operation to help our district create great teaching and learning experiences for every student,” said Tulsa Public Schools Board President Stacey Woolley. “Bonds provide safe and state-of-the-art classrooms, libraries, and stadiums, high-quality classroom technology, and importantly this year, support investments in building ventilation and other COVID-19 safety enhancements. Bond funds also support the purchase of buses; a wide range of classroom materials such as textbooks, microscopes, and musical instruments; and computers and networking – which has proved critical to support our students and families in our shifts to distance learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
While the bond includes significant funding to provide “state-of-the-art educational technology for every student and every teacher,” it also includes funding to:
- Ensure that every child learns in a safe, secure, healthy, and accessible environment;
- Expand access to programs that prepare every student to succeed in college and careers;
- Strengthen science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programming in all schools; and
- Nurture the whole child with investments in fine arts, athletics, physical education, wellness, and purposeful play.
When voters head to the ballot box, they will be voting on the four propositions included in the bond:
- Proposition 1: Safe Learning Environments ($166.8 million)
- Proposition 2: Student and Classroom Technologies ($90.7 million)
- Proposition 3: Student Transportation ($17.3 million)
- Proposition 4: Quality Learning Materials and Programs ($139.3 million)
“Every student and every school in our district will benefit from the investments in the 2021 Bond for Tulsa Public School,” said Superintendent Deborah Gist. “Bond funding plays a critical role in our classrooms, especially in our students’ college- and career- readiness by increasing postsecondary career-education programs at every secondary school including our college and business partnerships; expanding access to early childhood education programs for every Tulsa child; and creating strong science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education by improving access to STEM programs district-wide.”
This isn’t the first time Tulsa Public Schools have looked to bonds to modernize technology. The 2015 bond provided funding that schools were able to use to ensure all students had Chromebooks or laptops to use at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.