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TPS Leaders Hope For Turnout On Election Day After Sparsely Attended Forum

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There were plenty of seats available for the bond issue forum Thursday night, because only one parent showed up to hear about the district's plan to spend $38 million. There were plenty of seats available for the bond issue forum Thursday night, because only one parent showed up to hear about the district's plan to spend $38 million.
TPS board member Bobbi Gray said they need a super majority to pass the bond issue. TPS board member Bobbi Gray said they need a super majority to pass the bond issue.
The proposed bond is $38 million, mostly for classroom technology. The proposed bond is $38 million, mostly for classroom technology.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

There's an election next Tuesday on whether or not Tulsa Public Schools should get some new money for technology.

On larger, past bond issues, TPS has spent about 25 percent of the money on technology. This is smaller, but it's almost all technology for the classroom, plus some security and safety items, as well.

There were plenty of seats available for the bond issue forum Thursday night, because only one parent showed up to hear about the district's plan to spend $38 million.

4/23/2013 Related Story: TPS Raises $38 Million Bond Issue For Safety, Technology Upgrades

School leaders hope it's because people are already informed and support the idea, but they won't know for sure until there's a vote.

"I hope that people get out and vote next Tuesday; it's critical for our school district to get 60 percent of the vote out," said TPS board member Bobbi Gray.

For the bond to pass, 60 percent of voters have to approve it, and typically a small number ends up making the decision.

The Tulsa School district has 137,192 registered voters right now. In the 2010 bond election, only 25,628 people voted--a 17 percent turnout, at the time.

For a 2005 election, there were 22,992 voters--a 15 percent turnout.

The proposed bond is $38 million, mostly for classroom technology. The district would be able to support one computer for every three students, along with the accessories to use them for instruction.

Principal Sean Brannon, of East Central High School, said, "Here, at east central we would be able to provide more computer labs and rolling laptop labs, and possibly iPads that students could use in the classroom."

Part of the bond money would update and upgrade security features like door locks and cameras, but mostly it's meant to catch up with other districts that have already bought the technology that TPS is lacking.

"We've had some money in there, but it would take forever doing the 25 percent that we've been doing with bond issues to get up to speed," said TPS Bond Director Bob LaBass.

And there will be early voting Friday and Monday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day at the election board.

Election Day is Tuesday, and if it passes, the money would be available for the district about the middle of the coming school year.

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