Citizens For Better Education Urge Multi-Million Dollar School Bond For TPS

Thursday, February 26th 2015, 11:25 pm
By: News On 6

You may start seeing political ads that you are not used to seeing. The commercials are for Tulsa Public Schools and the district's upcoming school bond, which is one of the largest in state history.

A group called Citizens for Better Education is behind the "Yes for TPS" campaign, urging Tulsans to approve a $415 million dollar school bond for TPS.

The TPS Bond supporters include: the chief operating officer of BOK Financial, the owner of restaurants Elote and The Vault, as well as the president of the Greater Tulsa Hispanic Chamber.

The key people raising money for the ads are dealership owner Jim Norton and QuikTrip spokesperson Mike Thornbrugh. Restaurant owner Libby Billings is also part of the campaign. "From what I understand from other business owners and larger companies is that they're having a hard time filling the spots that they need when it comes to science, engineering, mathematics, things like that," said Billings. Part of the bond would create a school emphasizing those subjects.

Tulsa-based food manufacturer Bama Company also supports the campaign. Bama's Isaac Rocha thinks investing in education will strengthen the workforce. "Forty percent of high school graduates cannot walk into a manufacturing environment and do an entry-level job, and so we feel that from a workforce standpoint," said Rocha.

Rocha says the bond is a community, as well as a school issue, which is why so many support the campaign. "It's not a political action committee by any means. This is the community of Tulsa; community leaders, business leaders, parents and educators standing up and saying, ‘We need to invest in our students,'" Rocha explained.

If you want more information about the school bond, TPS has a webpage devoted to it, or there's a Vote Yes for TPS website, created by the Citizens for Better Education.