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Updates from Capitol rally for education funding

Teachers, administrators and parents from across Oklahoma swarmed the state Capitol Monday for an education funding rally. Read updates below.

FROM LOCAL REPORTS Modified: March 31, 2014 at 9:23 am •  Published: March 31, 2014

Teachers, administrators and parents from across Oklahoma swarmed the state Capitol Monday for an education funding rally. Read updates below.

NewsOK 9:38 a.m. Since 2008-09, funding for public schools in Oklahoma has been cut 23 percent or about $200 million. Statewide student growth over the same period has exceeded 30,000 students.

Edmond Public Schools, which is serving 2,700 more students than it did in 2008-09, is facing $4 million in budget cuts in the upcoming fiscal year.

Here's more information from Tim Willert's Sunday story:
NewsOK 10:31 a.m. Check out this gallery for more photos of the rally:
Rick Green 10:36 a.m. Update on the rally: Thousands of teachers from across the state have swarmed to the state Capitol to demand more money for public education.

Many waving signs reading “678,000 Reasons to Fund Education,” teachers and school administrators tried to keep the focus on the state’s schoolchildren as they pushed their agenda.
Rick Green 10:37 a.m. One of the rally participants, Bartlesville 7th grade geography teacher Brian Davis, came to the rally with his daughter, Briley, a 4th grader.

“We need more funding for our classrooms,” said Davis, 41, a teacher at Central Middle School. “We are 49th in the country for expenditures for students and that is not OK. We are at 2008 funding levels but we have more than 40,000 more students since then.”

He also complained about some state-mandated student testing.

“We need to fix the testing. There is too much of it and the stakes are too high. These tests were not designed as a high stakes measure, but they were designed as a benchmark.”
Rick Green 10:37 a.m. Briley also said: “My teacher has too many tests. I always stress out with all these tests.”

She carried a sign that read: “I can’t afford to grow up to be a teacher.” The sign also listed the cost of common grocery staples, including, “Bread, $2.20.”

Davis said teacher pay should increase, but added that that’s not his top priority.

“I’d like a raise but that’s not as important.”
10:40 a.m.
Kelly vile school board member, John Tuttle (left) and Sand Springs school board member Mike Mullins attend the rally.
10:41 a.m.
Bartlesville teacher brian Davis and daughter, Briley at the Capitol rally.
NewsOK 11:03 a.m. Here's a statement from OKC Public Schools about the rally:

“Our students have missed a significant amount of instructional time this year due to inclement weather days, and I am not certain that the planned rally is a convincing approach to advocate for more school funding. Our teachers can use a personal business day if they wish to participate in the rally, but as a District we will not take part.” – Dave Lopez, Interim Superintendent
Rick Green 11:16 a.m. Bartlesville teacher Brian Davis: "We need more funding for our classrooms." Says it's "not OK to be 49th in funding" for public education"


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