TPS Superintendent Responds To Governor Stitt's Inauguration
TULSA, Oklahoma - During his inauguration, Governor Stitt mentioned a lot of different ways that he hopes to make Oklahoma a top 10-state including improving education.
Many Green Country education leaders attended the inauguration Monday. Coming off a 9-Day teacher walkout last Spring; many eyes were on Governor Stitt today as he talked about the future of education in Oklahoma.
“When he says he wants Oklahoma to be a top ten state, he also says he wants Oklahoma to be a top ten state in education. and knowing he understands those two things go hand in hand is exciting,” said TPS Superintendent Deborah Gist.
Governor Stitt commended legislators for the progress they made but says more work still needs to be done and many education leaders agree.
“Oklahoma's Turnaround also starts with education, and I am fully convinced Oklahoma can have a top ten education system,” said Governor Kevin Stitt. “I commend the legislature for the work they made and the progress they made last year, but we’ve still got more progress to make.”
Young Eyes were on Governor Stitt today as he talked about the future of education in Oklahoma.
Even after a $5,000 raise was promised to teachers, thousands of educators still walked out of their classrooms and marched around the capitol building for nine days fighting for their students.
“It will require us to recognize that reforming and improving education should not be a partisan issue. Getting our children ready to thrive and face the challenges of the future should be our shared priority,” said Governor Stitt.
Now many education leaders are wondering how Governor Stitt plans to make Oklahoma a top 10 state for education, especially without the promise of more funding.
“We’re going to break down silos between common education, career tech, and higher ed but more government money is not the answer alone,” said Governor Stitt.
“I definitely think he recognizes that we have a resourcing problem in our public schools,” said Superintendent Deborah Gist. “We are not going to be able to be a top 10 state in the country unless we invest adequately in our teachers, which we are grateful for the improvements that we’ve made, but there’s more to do for the rest of public education which we realize makes a huge difference in our students experience and our teachers ability to be effective.”
Superintendent Deborah Gist says they are grateful for the strides teachers made during the walkout, but she believes more progress still needs to be made in regards to education funding, and many Tulsa business leaders agree.
“I think the legislature did some good things last year, made some good investments in teacher pay but we've got to continue to improve upon it and continue to take this to the next level,” said Mike Neil, Tulsa Chamber President.
Because investing in education, means investing in the future of Oklahoma.
“We are grateful for the energy industry we have here in Oklahoma and we are going to keep doing that work, but our people here, the human beings here in Oklahoma are our greatest natural resource,” said Superintendent Gist. “We have to invest in them.”