Thursday, June 15, 2017

John Thompson: Challenges ahead for funding schools with MAPS - NonDoc

Challenges ahead for funding schools with MAPS - NonDoc:

Challenges ahead for funding schools with MAPS





During Tuesday’s meeting, Ward 2 OKC Councilman Ed Shadid pushed the City Council to engage in a “desperate act for a desperate time” and devote one quarter of a temporary MAPS penny sales tax to curb the exodus of teachers from the city’s schools. Another alternative, Shadid said, would be a temporary income tax to pay teachers more so they will “hang on for one more year.”
In arguing for the tax to help save our schools, Shadid noted the Brookings Institute’s warning that we are “running out of time.” Geez, he’s right: School support staff are paid as little as $13,000 per year.

‘Please be our knights in shining armor’

Notably, a diverse array of citizens appealed to the city to, “Please be our knights in shining armor.” As numerous teachers, parents and a medical professional warned the council during the meeting, we aren’t just facing an “unbelievable exodus of teachers.” Even a realtor, who cares enough to serve on the Eugene Fields advisory board even before her child is old enough to attend the neighborhood elementary school, expressed the fear she’ll have to join the exodus of families to the exurbs.
OKCPS School Board Chair Paula Lewis told the council the state’s per-student aid is only half the national average — only $12 per child per day. Lewis said that the purpose of the temporary $25 million tax is to “stop the bleeding.” It makes no sense, she said, to pave a street alongside a school slated for closure for budgetary reasons.
Rev. Lori Walke started her comment by “respectfully” requesting consideration of a taxChallenges ahead for funding schools with MAPS - NonDoc: 

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