Morning Bell: OKC schools prepare for new year
Good Monday morning! Teachers across the state are getting ready for a new school year, especially in Oklahoma City Public Schools, which returns to class on Wednesday.
Click here to see the first day for other Oklahoma districts.
"I never can sleep because I'm so excited to meet them," said Leslie Scrivner, a Cleveland Elementary kindergarten teacher who said she can't wait for Wednesday.
This is also the first school year for new superintendent Sean McDaniel, who joined the district this month. In a recent interview with The Oklahoman, he stressed the importance of building relationships.
"There's energy in our district. There are fantastic people, there are talented people across the board, at all levels," he said. "I've said it a hundred times, I'll say it again: I have never seen such community support, from parent groups, from community partners, corporations, government officials, the mayor.
You can read more about the district's preparations for a new year in this recent story from The Oklahoman's Tim Willert.
You can watch a video interview with Superintendent McDaniel above, or by clicking this link.
Oklahoma City Public Schools teachers, counselors, library media specialists, nurses and other staff may have to wait until mid-September before getting their state pay raises, even though legislation goes into effect Wednesday.
Tulsa charter put on probation
The state Board of Education last week put Tulsa's Langston Hughes Academy of Arts and Technology on probation and asked it to fulfill some conditions.
A Department of Education probe into the charter school found discrepancies between teachers’ records of grade transcripts, suspensions and attendance and what was submitted to the state as required by law in what could have been an effort to illegally obtain state funding.
Lottery funds for education grow
The Oklahoma Lottery will send millions more than expected to public education because of recent changes that boosted sales and winnings.
The lottery reported that its contribution to education spending rose by 19 percent this year from an all-time low of $53 million.
"Our goal was to raise that back to $58 million," said spokesman Jay Finks.
When the results came in, however, the program beat expectations and will give lawmakers $63.2 million from lottery sales to spend on public schools, higher education and CareerTech vocational institutions.
State has few home school requirements
Recent child abuse allegations involving an Oklahoma teenager allegedly imprisoned at home is prompting a debate among home-schooling advocates on what role, if any, the state should play in ensuring the safety of such students.
That does it for today's Morning Bell. Have a great Monday!