Morning Bell: Teachers consider 110-mile march
Good Thursday morning!
If a teachers strike doesn't end after one week, some teachers in Tulsa are considering a 110-mile march to the state Capitol. The Tulsa World reported yesterday that the Tulsa Classroom Teachers Association and Tulsa Public Schools are considering a march from Tulsa to OKC on April 7, which would be the sixth day of a teachers strike.
Union prepared to offer its own funding plan
If a teachers walkout does happen, the Oklahoma Education Association says it will have unveiled a funding proposal.
"If the Legislature is unable (to pass a funding measure) we are ready to roll one out," said David DuVall, executive director of the Oklahoma Education Association, which has called for an April 2 teachers strike if more than $800 million in funding demands are not met for next fiscal year.
DuVall didn't release any details but said it was important for there to be a specific plan or bill for teachers to focus their attention on during a possible walkout next month.
When the Oklahoma Education Association led a teachers strike in 1990, it focused its advocacy efforts on passing the emergency clause for House Bill 1017, which made a recently approved teacher pay and school funding law effective immediately.
As of today, there is no specific bill or proposal that the union and its members can push for. You can read more here.
Strike's impact on scheduled tests?
Oklahoma’s education funding struggles could be exacerbated if the threatened teacher walkout drags into April, making districts unable to administer federally mandated tests, reports CNHI.
Students hoping to apply to college, meanwhile, could see their efforts stymied if shuttered schools are unable to administer the pre-set ACT and SAT tests.
That’s because teachers’ threatened April 2 work stoppage coincides with the statewide 2018 mandated testing window, which runs from April 2 through April 20.
OU instructors accused of having sex with high school student
A French instructor at the University of Oklahoma has been charged with two counts of second-degree rape. Kyle Trent Podrecca, 27, is accused of having sex with a 15-year-old male student from Westmoore High School.
Podrecca met the student while substitute teaching and later tutored the boy in French outside of class, Norman police reported in a court affidavit. The boy told police they started "seeing" each other in April and the relationship became sexual, according to the affidavit.
Leading schools in the aftermath of a shooting
They share an unfortunate bond—the principals and superintendents of schools and districts where unexpected gunfire shattered their peace and where the names of their schools and communities came to symbolize tragedy.
Education Week recently explored how for schools and district leaders in charge when the unthinkable happens, there is no playbook on how to pick up after the crime scene has been sanitized.
“People always want to know ‘when does it get back to normal?’ ” said Frank DeAngelis, who was the principal at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., in 1999 when two students gunned down 13 classmates and staff members. “And, unfortunately, it does not.
Oklahoma education leaders say the demand for crisis preparation is increasing across Oklahoma, especially in rural school districts that might not have as many community support organizations in their backyard.
Last year, the state Department of Education offered five free crisis training sessions for school leaders, but "they filled up so quickly and we had a long waiting list, we added five more training sessions," said Shelly Ellis, executive director of school support and improvement.
Ellis credits the demand for crisis training to district leaders being more aware of the potential incidents that could happen at a school.
"With social media now we are very aware when something happens, even when it's on the east or west coast, we know immediately," Ellis said. "I think we are smart enough to know it can happen anywhere. You can read more here.