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Oklahoma's lowest performing schools split $36.9M in federal grants

Oklahoma state schools Superintendent Sandy Garrett says that grants for Oklahoma City, Crutcho and Tulsa schools could be 'transformative' for urban districts.

BY MEGAN ROLLAND Published: July 15, 2010
Stearns has hit the ground running,” said Cindy Schmidt, Oklahoma City Public Schools chief academic officer.

"He still has some openings, and we are still working on filling those.”

The district used a federal grant for improving teacher quality to offer $1,500 signing bonuses for new teachers who commit to teach at Grant for at least three years.

Betsy Mabry said she met two teachers who were moving to Grant next year.

"They are very excited,” Mabry said. "They have hearts to turn this school around.”

Garrett said it was important to her that the removed teachers were not left out in the cold.

She said she was relieved that teachers were offered positions within the district or are now full-time substitutes.

Pending approval from teachers unions and the school board, all three Oklahoma City Public Schools are using a portion of the money to extend the school days for students by 30 to 60 minutes a day.

Douglass Middle School will add 18 school days and F.D. Moon will add 15 school days only for those students in need of remediation.

Tulsa Public Schools and Crutcho Public Schools also included plans to extend school days at their underperforming schools.

Garrett applauded the increased learning time as a key to improving the state's educational system.

"We talk a lot about time and time to learn and we know that's probably key,” Garrett said.

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