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The Morning Bell: State leads nation in ed spending cuts

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Adrian Wescogame reads a paper in Larissa Krusinsky's fifth grade class at Hugh Bish Elementary in Lawton, Okla. on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. Two year ago the school received an F grade, since then the school has raised its state grade to a B. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman
Adrian Wescogame reads a paper in Larissa Krusinsky's fifth grade class at Hugh Bish Elementary in Lawton, Okla. on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. Two year ago the school received an F grade, since then the school has raised its state grade to a B. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

Good Thursday morning! 

Oklahoma is one of seven states that spent at least 15 percent less per student in 2015 than in 2008, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. 

In fact, Oklahoma leads the nation in inflation-adjusted cuts to state common education funding per student since 2008 with a decline of 28.2 percent per student. The next closest state is Texas with a 16.2 percent decline.

"In its 17-page report, the think tank found that overall K-12 spending in at least 29 states is still less than what it was before the housing industry collapsed in 2007which resulted in a wave of revenue cuts to school districts leading to massive layoffs and the shuttering of K-12 programs, Daarel Burnette wrote for Education Week

You can read the full report here

Pay raise effort not over yet?

A group seeking to put an income tax increase on the ballot to fund teacher pay raises in Oklahoma City isn't giving up after they learned this week they had failed to turn in the correct number of signatures. 

The group Called Save OKC Schools told the OKC Free Press that around 5,500 signatures were not accepted because the three petition circulators listed their exact street address, but failed to put “OKC” or “Oklahoma City” along with their street address. 

The group also plans to study the final report out of the city clerk's office and determine if it can make any additional appeals. 

--The state Board of Education has called for statewide teacher raises when it approved a $2.9 billion budget request this month for next year's state Education Department, which will be reviewed by the state Legislature. It includes $287.8 million for a $5,000 teacher pay raise that is "regionally competitive."

State schools Superintendent Joy Hofmeister called it "long past time" to make teacher pay raises "a formal part of the budget."

"What we know is we don't have enough people stepping into Oklahoma classrooms," Hofmeister said. "Those who are coming in are feeling they do not have the support to be able to work with children and do not have some of the tools they need."

Bixby board to receive update

The Bixby school board will hold a special meeting tonight to get an update on its internal investigation into a high school student’s allegations of rape by his football teammates at the superintendent’s house, reports the Tulsa World

The agenda for the meeting shows that the board will get the update behind closed doors, not in open session.

Union leader calls out OKCPS supt

The president of the Oklahoma City Federation of Classified Employees called out the OKCPS superintendent for not allowing 200 non-managerial pro-tech school staff to join a professional organization.

"It's troubling that the superintendent is offending the spirit of these employees' constitutional rights to the equal protection of the laws and freedom of association," David Gray wrote in a guest column in Tuesday's Oklahoman. "As a public servant, she should be an example of respect for the democratic freedoms our country is built on."

Woodward students see local impact of science

Woodward Middle School seventh graders visited the Southern Plains Range Research Station this week to learn about sciences applied in their hometown, reports the Woodward News

The research station has partnered up with middle schoolers in previous years to give them an inside look at the work done and inspire the students to pursue science locally.

“The partnership with us is invaluable,” Science Teacher Tina Rogers said. “They get to see scientists working here. They don’t have to go get a degree and go somewhere else, they can work here.”

More education news...

--Oklahoma's panhandling teacher spreads the wealth to her fellow educators, via The 74

--Oklahoma teachers says the way to get more money for schools is through consolation, via Tulsa World.

Related Photos
Adrian Wescogame reads a paper in Larissa Krusinsky's fifth grade class at Hugh Bish Elementary in Lawton, Okla. on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. Two year ago the school received an F grade, since then the school has raised its state grade to a B.  Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

Adrian Wescogame reads a paper in Larissa Krusinsky's fifth grade class at Hugh Bish Elementary in Lawton, Okla. on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. Two year ago the school received an F grade, since then the school has raised its state grade to a B. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-d9b120f44a2b1a939a88073c40a8251d.jpg" alt="Photo - Adrian Wescogame reads a paper in Larissa Krusinsky's fifth grade class at Hugh Bish Elementary in Lawton, Okla. on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. Two year ago the school received an F grade, since then the school has raised its state grade to a B. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman" title="Adrian Wescogame reads a paper in Larissa Krusinsky's fifth grade class at Hugh Bish Elementary in Lawton, Okla. on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. Two year ago the school received an F grade, since then the school has raised its state grade to a B. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Adrian Wescogame reads a paper in Larissa Krusinsky's fifth grade class at Hugh Bish Elementary in Lawton, Okla. on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. Two year ago the school received an F grade, since then the school has raised its state grade to a B. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure>
Ben Felder

Ben Felder is an investigative reporter for The Oklahoman. A native of Kansas City, Ben has lived in Oklahoma City since 2010 and covered politics, education and local government for the Oklahoma Gazette before joining The Oklahoman in 2016.... Read more ›

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