Morning Bell: Hofmeister leads in superintendent runoff race, per poll
Good Friday morning! A News9 poll shows that in the race for the Republican State Superintendent nomination, Joy Hofmeister leads Linda Murphy 43 percent to 30 percent with 27 percent still undecided.
The state's use of emergency certified teachers continues to grow as more than 1,200 have been approved ahead of the new school year.
The state Board of Education approved 853 emergency teaching certificates at its Thursday meeting, the largest number approved in a single month.
Thursday's vote brought the total number for the 2018-19 school year to 1,238 just two months into the school calendar.
The board approved 1,975 certificates last school year, which was a new record. Just 32 were used seven years ago.
School districts can appeal to the state for an emergency certified teacher if they are unable to find a qualified educator for an open position.
Tulsa Public Schools has an intensive five-week training program that gives emergency certified teachers additional training,reports News on 6.
"For those who do not have an education background, this is a way that we as a district can help meet our talent goals but also ensure that the people who are in front of our most precious resource, our kiddos, have what they need to be successful," said Director of Talent Initiatives Quentin Liggins.
Norman adopts random drug-testing policy
Oklahoma's seventh-largest school district is the latest to adopt a random drug-testing policy for high school students who participate in sports and other extracurricular activities, reports The Oklahoman's Tim Willert.
Beginning Aug. 16, Norman Public Schools will test 30 students each from Norman High and Norman North every month for drugs that include marijuana and alcohol.
Students who test positive more than once face short- and long-term suspension from their activity and mandatory drug counseling, according to data provided by the district.
Lottery funds for education grow
The Oklahoma Lottery’s annual education contribution rose 19 percent last fiscal year to $63.2 million, and officials are crediting a year-old law with providing the spark, reports the Tulsa World.
Lottery officials announced Thursday that with sales up 47 percent for fiscal year 2018, which ended June 30, $63.2 million will go to education — $10 million more than the previous year. It includes $13.2 million earmarked specifically for public school programs in reading, science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).
That does it for today's Morning Bell. Have a great weekend!