Mayor Dewey Bartlett, City Councilor Karen Gilbert and school superintendents Dr. Keith Ballard from Tulsa Public Schools, Dr. Cathy Burden from Union Public Schools and Dr. Kirby Lehman with Jenks Public Schools held a news conference today about the need for additional funding from the state level for education.
Councilor Gilbert championed a resolution in the City Council to help support education in the City of Tulsa and requested the Oklahoma Legislature to increase educational funding for elementary and secondary schools in the 2012-2013 budget.
Mayor Bartlett signed the resolution (attached) today, and Councilor Gilbert traveled to Oklahoma City to hand deliver the resolution to the Oklahoma Legislature.
“Education is a core service that must be recognized at the state level,” Mayor Dewey Bartlett said. “To compete at the global level, Tulsa must have a well-educated workforce that will help us attract more businesses to Tulsa and keep existing businesses thriving.”
“There is so much at risk if we don't adequately fund our schools,” District 5 Councilor Karen Gilbert said. “Not only will class sizes double, but we could be at a higher risk of potentially increasing our numbers of drop-outs, reducing course offerings and possibly cutting transportation and other everyday operating functions. I'm hoping that state lawmakers will hear our concerns and do the right thing for our state, our city, our citizens, but most importantly our children who are the future.”
Tulsa Metro Chamber President and CEO Mike Neal also expressed support for the resolution. “Imposing constraints on education funding threatens Oklahoma’s future economic competitiveness. We must do better for our students. The students of today are the workforce of tomorrow and they must be prepared for the challenges of post-secondary education and training.”