Morning Bell: OKCPS to consider closing schools
Oklahoma City Public Schools will consider closing some schools, expanding others and redrafting boundaries before the end of the year to cut costs amid declining enrollments, The Oklahoman's Tim Willert reports.
Over the next several weeks, a local building planning firm will assess the condition of nearly 80 school buildings — many of which are underused or in disrepair — to determine their viability going forward.
"We're going to look at every facility so that we can identify and address what the needs are," Scott Randall, the district's chief operating officer, said Friday. "We've got to figure out ways to maximize our resources. At the end of the day, the resources don't exist to say 'let's keep everything in place.'"
Districts struggle with pay decisions
Amid the ongoing legal and ballot challenges to the state’s recent tax hikes, Oklahoma districts are struggling to figure out how much compensation to offer teachers next year, reports CNHI.
As districts hash out upcoming budgets and offer teaching contracts, questions are surfacing if it’s fiscally prudent to incorporate the Legislature’s recent average $6,100 raise given the ongoing uncertainty, said Joy Hofmeister, the state’s superintendent of public instruction.
Forum focused on education
The public is invited to a gubernatorial candidate forum in Tulsa that is focused on education, reports the Tulsa World. The candidates who have agree to appear at the forum on June 4 from 7 to 9 p.m. include Republicans Mick Cornett, Gary Jones, Gary Richardson and Kevin Stitt. Democrat Connie Johnson said she would be at the event.
Oklahoma firm introduces school safety app
In the wake of last week's school shooting in Texas, one Oklahoma business says it thinks it has the tool to help stop further violence. John Vogt of the 4S Project has spent 3 years developing software that scans websites, helping law enforcement and school officials identify the next possible threat. He says the technology detects information by setting up a geographic perimeter for subscribers picking up on pictures, text, and audio. NewsOn6 has more.
Tech grants awarded
Elmore City-Pernell schools are among a select few sharing in a seven-figure grant designed to help with technology. The ECP School District is one of 20 Oklahoma public schools that will experience learning in new and innovative ways, thanks to more than $1.3 million in grants from the Oklahoma Educational Technology Trust (OETT), reports the Pauls Valley Democrat.
Established to provide the latest technologies and teacher training to Oklahoma schools, OETT is awarding each of the 20 schools $40,000 to purchase new technology equipment. Additionally, each school will receive professional development training valued at over $25,000.
Top seniors honored at OFE banquet
One hundred of the state’s top graduating seniors were honored at the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence’s annual Academic Awards Banquet, each recognizing a teacher who impacted them during their educational career. And five teachers and professors from across the state were honored with a medal for excellence in their respective fields.