TULSA, Okla — Tulsa Public Schools is gearing up for a bond vote in less than a month. Safety is a top priority for the district.
“If kids don’t feel safe they can’t learn," said Dr. Rebecca Grooms, principal at Memorial High School.
TPS is dedicating $167 million toward safe learning environments in its $414 million bond proposal. Part of that money would go toward constructing safe and secure entrances for 20 schools.
Memorial High School currently has a single door entry with locked doors and an intercom. The new bond would turn it into a dual entrance and make it visible from the front office. It would also give better control over who is coming in the building.
“We just want to keep our kids safe," Grooms said. "Once they get to school, we want to make sure that we keep them safe, that we know where they are, that we know who has access to see them.”
There are also plans to upgrade buzzers, intercoms, and cameras.
The district would also improve radio communications between the district and first responders. Greg Shaw, a member of the TPS Citizen Bond Development Committie, said these upgrades will be beneficial in a lockdown.
“These are things that you don’t necessarily see and don’t think about, you know, as far as important," said Greg Shaw, a member of the TPS Citizen Bond Development Committee.
Other safety improvements outside of the buildings include better lighting and resurfacing the parking lots.
Sixty percent of TPS schools are 50 years or older. Shaw said these updates, and others in the proposal, are vital to students' safety and performance.
“We know that schools that have been renovated and have investment in it, their kids and test scores go up," Shaw said. "But also, for our educators, you know, they deserve good places and welcoming, secure, safe places to work in as well.”
The bond vote is set for June 8.
The last day to register to vote on this bond is Friday, May 14. The last day to request an absentee ballot is June 1.
For more information about what’s in this bond proposal, click here.
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