Oklahoma Education Funding Gets Support As Thousands Sign Petition
TULSA, Oklahoma - The push to get $615 million for Oklahoma education is closer to becoming a reality.
For about a month, petitions have been circulating across the state to get State Question 779 on the November ballot.
Thursday night, the petition organizers announced they reached their signature goal but urge the push for State Question 779 and more money for schools is just starting.
Millions of dollars trimmed from the Oklahoma education budget has resulted in lost programs, teachers and school time.
"It's very disheartening because it makes me feel like I’m not valued or the work that I do is not important," said kindergarten teacher Bonny Reibert.
Reibert and parents say the problem can't be ignored. She's thankful Oklahomans are doing something about it.
"As of today 37 days, 37 not 90 days we have 230,000 signatures on the petition," said University of Oklahoma President David Boren.
Last year Boren introduced the petition to get State Question 779 on the November ballot. It's designed to generate $615 million for education through a penny sales tax increase.
"We're using our own money to provide basic school supplies like folders to send home homework and notes from the school," Reibert said.
If voters approve it in November, Boren said it will give all Oklahoma teachers a $5,000 raise, improve early childhood education, provide tech and career training and help stabilize college tuition.
"It's flat wrong for us to not give our children and the next generation the tools that were given to us," said Boren.
Although the petition goal was reached, Boren wants people to keep signing and pushing for Oklahoma's future.
Even though the petition signature goal was nearly doubled, all of the signatures have to be verified first.