Bond Issue Would Upgrade Tulsa Public Schools Technology

Monday, March 2nd 2015, 10:49 pm

Tulsa Public Schools is asking voters to approve a $415 million bond, the biggest in its history.

A quarter of that money would go toward technology; the hope is to make sure every TPS student has a computer or tablet of his or her own.

The devices wouldn't go home with students, but TPS said the technology would give them what they need to succeed.

2/15/2015 Related Story: Supporters Say $415M Tulsa Public Schools Bond Issue Is Needed

Tulsa Public Schools is hoping to move into the digital era by asking voters to approve a history-making $415 million bond, which includes $110 million for technology upgrades that can't be found anywhere else.

TPS Senior Bond Project Manager Ellen Duecker said, “This is our entire funding for student technology, we don't have any other funding from the state to buy computers.”

So, instead of using a community computer in the library to take a quiz, each one would be issued their own device to use at school.

Duecker said knowing how to operate computers will help students compete once they leave the halls of TPS.

“Over 85 percent of our students are on free and reduced lunch, so many of them don't have multiple devices in their home on which they can work. So it's important for us to make sure that all our students have access to the materials they need,” she said.

She said textbooks are typically replaced every five years; the same is planned for any digital devices, and Duecker said upgrade costs are factored into the bond.

“You have to plan thoughtfully and roll the equipment out and phase into the purpose where it can be used the most and plan for replacements every five years,” she said.

The technology portion of the bond will also cover networking costs as well as upgrading all classrooms with 21st century learning equipment.

The bond also covers construction and transportation. You can learn more about the bond online.