Supporters Say $415M Tulsa Public Schools Bond Issue Is Needed

Sunday, February 15th 2015, 6:28 pm

By: News On 6

The campaign is underway to promote the 2015 Tulsa Public Schools Bond.

The $415 million proposal touches just about every aspect of education from getting kids to school to the technology at their fingertips.

Supporters said they think taxpayers won't have much to complain about because TPS promises that tax rates will not increase.

"I just don't know how we could say no to education and improving," parent Margarita Vega-Trevino said.

Vega-Trevino is a mother of three and she said the issues on this year's bond are all things she wants to see improved.

"I think the TPS buildings are in dire need of help and so that's important,” she said. “Technology is important, as much as I don't like to see my kids on the tablet all the time, it's important that they are aware and up to speed on technology."

The $415 million bond proposal goes toward four major needs:

  • $239.7 million for facilities
  • $19.8 million toward libraries
  • $138. 4 million for classrooms
  • $17 million for transportation upgrades

They are in four categories which encompass a wide range of maintenance needs to education tools like replacing portable buildings, providing students with iPads, putting storm shelters in libraries and replacing deteriorating school buses.

And for those who support the bond, all four categories are necessary to keep TPS moving forward.

“We the Tulsa community failed to pass two consecutive bond issues back in 1994 and 1995,” community volunteer Susan Harris said. “In fact, at that time, some of our buildings were so bad we were featured in U.S. Today. That was not our finest moment."

It's a moment "Yes for TPS" campaign members do not want to repeat, especially as the district tries to keep up with surrounding schools like Jenks, Bixby and Broken Arrow.

But supporters said it's not as much about keeping up but providing the best opportunities based on TPS students' needs.

"I'm excited about the STEM programs,” Vega-Trevino said. “I'm excited about the buildings. I don't think people pay enough attention to the importance of atmosphere when it comes to the mentality and the mood that it sets for children to be able to thrive."

The vote will take place March 3.

Supporters have set up a website to explain where they say the money will go. Click here to visit the "Yes for TPS" website.


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