Morning Bell: Teachers push back on tax overturn effort
Good Tuesday morning! A group representing Oklahoma teachers is asking the state's highest court to stop an effort to overturn a tax-hike package to fund teacher pay raises the Legislature approved amid a national uprising of educators seeking more classroom money.
The Professional Oklahoma Educators filed a protest petition with the state Supreme Court last week against the anti-tax group's signature-gathering effort, reports the Tulsa World.
Led by former U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, the group Oklahoma Taxpayers Unite is seeking a public vote on whether to toss tax hikes on cigarettes, motor fuel and energy production to fund an average teacher pay raise of $6,100.
You can read more about the effort here.
OKC board votes to change school names
No longer will three elementary schools be named after Confederate generals, the Oklahoma City School Board decided by unanimous vote Monday night.
Instead, the names of Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Stand Watie will be replaced by those of a trailblazing Native American woman, a female philanthropist and the Spanish word for hope.
Jackson Enterprise Elementary will soon bear the name of Mary Golda Ross, while Lee Elementary will be renamed after Adelaide Lee, and Stand Watie will become Esperanza.
Chisholm teachers awarded grants
More than $20,000 in grants were awarded to Chisholm Public Schools teachers last week by Chisholm Public School Foundation, reports EnidNews.com.
Grants were distributed to 19 teachers at all three schools. Throughout past years, funds have been given to purchase computer equipment for classrooms, expanded curriculum, smart boards, a score board for the field house and numerous other teacher grants.
“Our focus continues to be raising funds for teacher grants,” said foundation Vice President Debbie Wilczek. “We have been blessed with amazing support from the Chisholm community and without that support we would not be able to do what we do.”
OKC schools to close election day
The Oklahoma City Public Schools board voted unanimously to close schools on Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018, to give teachers and school staff the opportunity to engage in continued advocacy. The last day of school will be moved from May 23 to May 24. Other schools have announced they will be closed on Election Day, including Yukon.