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Tulsa Parents Rally For An Increase In School Funding

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Thursday night, parents, teachers and students rallied together on behalf of their schools. Thursday night, parents, teachers and students rallied together on behalf of their schools.
The bleachers were full and the spirits were high in Edison Field House. The bleachers were full and the spirits were high in Edison Field House.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

Passing tax cuts in the state legislature, but taking a pass on money for school kids, has Green Country parents fired up.

Thursday night, parents, teachers and students rallied together on behalf of their schools.

Oklahoma ranks 49th in the nation as far as education funding per student. It's a number that parents and teachers alike say is just too low.

So parents organized a rally with one goal in mind: to get the attention of state lawmakers in hopes of bringing more money to schools both locally and statewide.

The bleachers were full and the spirits were high in Edison Field House.

"It's actually the 2008 budget cuts that are going to hit us this year," Tulsa parent Gabrielle Ricketts said. "The federal stimulus had run out."

Over the past three years, the budget for Tulsa Public Schools has dropped by $20 million. Because of that shortfall, there will likely be 75 fewer teachers with Tulsa Public Schools next school year.

04/26/2012 Related Story: Tulsa Superintendent Repeats Calls For More School Funding

"We came here to make some noise and we're going to," Tulsa Superintendent Keith Ballard told the group.

Brian Banfield came to make some noise himself. He teaches third grade at Eliot Elementary. His job is one that's in jeopardy.

"What it means is that I would be placed at another school," Banfield said. "But I don't really have a choice in what school, which is the unfortunate part."

Superintendent Keith Ballard says those 75 jobs would be saved, if they received more state funding. Parents say you can't put a price on education. 

"If we were really thinking about our future, we probably need to start with our children and make sure that they're ready for the future," Ricketts said.

And in the eyes of a child - the setback is hard to understand. But they seem to get the gist of what's going on.

"I think that's not right," 2nd grader Elliot Middlebrook said."Because I think we deserve a good education."

The parents are hoping their voice is heard all the way at the state capitol. They're urging anyone and everyone to write their state legislators asking for more school funding.

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