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Teachers react after SQ 801 fails among voters

Posted at 6:11 PM, Nov 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-07 19:11:38-05
TULSA -- Education was art the forefront of voters' minds this election season, but one thing Oklahomans voted against was allocating building and construction funds to cover other expenses in State Question 801.
SQ 801 would have allowed voter-approved property taxes to fund school district operations. Currently, the money is restricted to a building fund.
In a difference of nearly ten thousand votes, SQ 801 was denied.
"Ultimately it's the legislators job to fill the hole for education, and it's not our job to sacrifice our buildings to pay for other things," said Stephanie Jones, who is a teacher at Emerson Elementary School.
Some voters who were for SQ 801 believe it should be the school district's choice of where to allocate their funds.
"Each individual school district should have the opportunity to take what funds were available to them and distribute them to wherever they might need," said Rudy Thorton, a Tulsa resident who voted for SQ 801.
But educators voices were heard, and hope this is a small step towards a bigger focus for public education.
"This is a marathon not a sprint, and we will finish it, teachers are finishers, and we will do whatever we need to do on behalf of our children," said Shawna Mott-Wright, Vice President of the Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association.
Educators tell me they're hopeful Governor-elect Kevin Stitt will work with the many newly elected teachers to come up with solutions in funding education.

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