Morning Bell: Charter schools hunt for buildings, money
Good Wednesday morning!
Oklahoma Watch reports that charter schools are facing increased pressure to grow, and many have lists of students waiting for space. Charter-school leaders say they can’t afford to build new buildings because, unlike district schools, state law doesn’t allow them to issue bonds or receive property taxes. The schools do receive state aid and federal funds.
But charter officials are pushing harder to get more public dollars. The state Senate recently held an interim study on the topic of charter school funding, and a lawsuit filed last year against the State Board of Education seeking equitable charter-school funding is still pending. Nothing has been filed in the case since December, however. There is also talk of pushing legislation next year to address the issue. You can read the full story here.
OKCPS conducts mental health survey
A survey of substance use and mental health patterns among Oklahoma City Public Schools students revealed results that some district officials described as "brutal facts" and "troubling data."
One in five students reported feeling hopeless most or all of the time during the past 30 days.
One in three reported feeling that everything was an effort all or most of the time.
One in five felt so depressed that nothing could cheer them up most or all of the time.
OKCPS community meetings planned
Meetings to gather community feedback on a project that could result in school closures are set to begin Nov. 5. Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent Sean McDaniel said the input will be critical to the success of the district's Pathways to Greatness Project.
The goal of the project, which includes a facilities assessment and demographic study, is to align and district resources with instructional needs, McDaniel said.
"This is our reimagining plan, our reinvention plan," he said during Monday night's school board meeting. "The question that we're trying to answer is 'how do we deliver the highest-quality education to our kids that is possible.'"
Principal arrested for paddling students
An Oklahoma school principal is facing child abuse charges after he allegedly used a wooden paddle to spank two elementary school students, leaving the boys bruised, reports USA today.
Indianola Public Schools principal Gary Gunckel, 50, was charged Friday with felony child abuse after a disciplinary incident that occurred at school, according to a statement from the school district.