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Education sales tax? Crews ready to collect signatures

The group promoting a state sales tax hike to fund education — including a $5,000 raise for teachers — has recruited and trained more than 200 volunteers and paid staff to collect signatures on an initiative petition beginning Tuesday. 

Oklahoma’s Children — Our Future will launch its signature-gathering drive in support of a penny sales tax to fund education at an event Tuesday.  At that time, organizers will announce the locations of the first five town hall meetings to be held across the state to discuss the need to support education in the wake of massive state budget cuts.

The kickoff event will be at 2 p.m. at Oklahoma’s Children — Our Future Headquarters,  4301 N Classen Blvd.

Speakers will be University of Oklahoma President David Boren; Shawn Sheehan, Oklahoma Teacher of the Year and National Teacher of the Year finalist; and Phyllis Hudecki, Oklahoma Business and Education Coalition executive director and former state secretary of education.

The group will have 90 days to collect 123,000 signatures.  That's the number of signatures that must be verified for the issue to go on the November ballot.

The proposed sales tax increase is one of several ideas being promoted this legislative session to increase funding for education. Opponents say it will hurt cities, which rely on sales tax as the main source of revenue.

K.S. McNutt

Kathryn McNutt covers higher education for The Oklahoman and NewsOK. Since joining the staff in August 2000, she also has worked as the Breaking News editor, Metro editor and assistant Local editor. A native of Oklahoma City, she graduated from... Read more ›