Voters in Tulsa, Okla., approved a $90.7 million bond that will be doled out over the next five years to fund a K-12 classroom technology overhaul.
The funding for student and classroom technologies is part of the 2021 Bond for Tulsa Public Schools, a $414 million investment that is made up of four propositions targeting different aspects of K-12 education:
- Proposition 1: Safe Learning Environments ($166.8 million);
- Proposition 2: Student and Classroom Technologies ($90.7 million);
- Proposition 3: Student Transportation ($17.3 million); and
- Proposition 4: Quality Learning Materials and Programs ($139.3 million).
For the Jun 8 election, voters were asked to vote on each proposition separately and each one had to receive at least 60 percent of the vote to pass. Each proposition received roughly 70 percent of the vote, with Proposition One receiving 72.35 percent, Proposition Two receiving 72.62 percent, Proposition Three receiving 71.63 percent, and Proposition Four receiving 72.96 percent of the vote.
“With tonight’s vote, Tulsans have made a five-year $414 million investment in safe and accessible schools; state-of-the-art educational technology; sustainable student transportation; and rigorous, engaging, and culturally sustaining learning experiences that prepare students for success in college and careers,” Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Deborah Gist said after the election results were announced.
In materials explaining how the bond financing will be employed, Tulsa Public Schools said the funding to improve student and classroom technologies will be used to “ensure that all of our students and schools have the educational technology that 21st-century learners need and deserve.”
Among other measures, Proposition Two includes $54.7 million for technology for teaching and learning, $31.4 million for network, systems, and security upgrades, and $2.7 million for “other projects to enhance student and classroom technology, project management supports, and fees.”
In addition to more traditional transportation funding, Proposition Three also includes $1.1 million for software, cameras, and WiFi for school busses.
Proposition Four allocates $11.5 million to strengthen science, technology, engineering, and math programming in all schools and upgrade STEM labs across the district.
“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,” Tulsa Public Schools Board President Stacey Woolley said when the board voted to hold the bond election. “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.”