TPS leaders push for bond issue to improve technology and safety

TULSA - Leaders from the Tulsa Public School District are pushing for a $38 million bond issue which would improve technology and safety within the schools.

If voters approve the issue, students would have access to wireless Internet in every school.

Changes would also be made so that there would be one computer available for every three students.

Bob LaBass, the district's director of bond projects and energy management, says the bond initiative would prevent TPS from falling further behind the technology curve.

He also believes it's necessary to prepare students for life after graduation.

"If you go to college, you're going to get an iPad right off the bat," he said. "If you go out in the marketplace, you're going to have to know technology of some type and you need to be familiar with it."

The bond issue would help pay for the installation of new technology for teachers, as well.

LaBass says it could finance new SMART Boards, in the classrooms, and new copy machines, in the buildings.

Sprinkler systems would also be installed in 11 of the schools.

Currently, LaBass says all of the buildings meet current fire code, but the proposal for new sprinklers is a direct response to the fire which destroyed the old Barnard Elementary School, in September.

"This is just a safeguard," he said. "They're designed now to protect the students. This will protect the building and keep us from having a total loss like we did at Barnard, which was a sad incident."

The school board is scheduled to vote on whether to move forward with the initiative March 3.

If approved by the board, the issue would appear on the May 6 ballot.

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