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TPS showcases successful programs, outlines to legislators why state funding is vital

Posted at 8:17 PM, Jan 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-31 21:17:03-05

TULSA, Okla. — The Tulsa Public School district is reminding legislators to look out for them at the state Capitol.

The district invited over a dozen state lawmakers to Nathan Hale High School Friday morning to showcase some of the district's most promising programs.

This meeting was a highlight for the district's success and a reminder of the underlying issue of funding.

Oklahoma is 49th in the country in "per-student funding."

TPS was forced to cut $20 million for next school year's budget this year, but district educators say they are still fighting to keep quality education programs in their classrooms.

One of those new personalized learning programs is called Tulsa Beyond. It focuses on the student as whole to provide a better learning environment.

While the program is it's infancy, staff members say they'd like to grow it next year.

Legislators say with the implementation of a newer Senate bill, funding wouldn't be as much of a hurdle for positive programs like Tulsa Beyond.

"[If] Senate Bill 362, had it been implemented last year, according to the data from TPS would have allowed them to receive approximately 20 million more in revenue," said chairman of the Senate's education committee, Senator Gary Stanislawski. "They would get more allocated funds because the district has a higher about of special need and bi-lingual students and programs to help them be successful would re quire more money."

The bill won't simply give more money to schools, but also changes how much certain districts are allocated from existing state funds.

"Flat funding is no funding," said Senator Stanislawski. "That's why we have to change the narrative, because operating costs still go up."

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