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Educators 'disappointed' at Oklahoma State budget for education

Posted at 7:11 PM, Feb 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-04 17:21:39-05

TULSA, Okla. — Educators say the $11 million increase for the next fiscal school year won't do much.

The money will give many teachers raises but won't go to funding classroom programs.

Karesha Solomon has been Hawthorne Elementary's principle for four years, and with Tulsa Public School Distirct for eight.

While she’s seen many aspects of the classroom change., she says one things has been the constant.

“There's definitely not enough time in the day, we’re kind of working against the clock thorough out the day," said Solomon.

To help with that, TPS launched the Empower Program in 2018. Hawthorne Elementary School was one of the first buildings to have teachers in the program.

Kerri Ishem was one of those teachers.

"Planning time to be prepared is priceless," Ishem said. "The teachers are stronger and more ready when going into the classroom and it has just created an environment that gets the students excited and ready to learn, adn they grow because of that."

Both Ishem and Solomon say the program has had great success but not all schools in the district can afford to fully support the program.

“They are paid a stipend to plan and prep those sessions because the sessions take time and teachers have to spend time outside of school," Solomon said. "But we have to use our school funds to pay for those stipends for teachers."

Which is why they say they need community support.

"“it’s very important the community is behind their child's educations and to rally for more funding for more funding soe we can have better programs like this," Ishem said. "In the end it is al about what we can do for our students so that they can have a successful future."

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