Morning Bell: The education mayor?
Good Thursday morning!
Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt, who is one month into his first term, wants education to be a central part of his political platform and he expects to have an action plan in place in the next year or two.
In Oklahoma, cities do not have control or authority over public school districts.
However, Holt said he wants to be involved in local education, especially the Oklahoma City Public Schools district, where his two children attend.
“The mayor could very easily say, 'that's not my job,'” Holt said. "But this is definitely a priority (for me).”
In today's OklahomanI wrote about remarks from Holt about his desire to be more involved in local schools. He hasn't revealed any detailed plans as of yet. But it's noteworthy that a mayor is talking this much about schools, especially after the campaign is over.
AG sides with group behind teacher pay repeal petition
In the second of two legal challenges, the Oklahoma attorney general's office sided again on Tuesday with the group trying to repeal tax hikes recently approved to fund teacher pay raises.
Despite some problems, the wording of the petition being circulated for a statewide vote is clear enough for people to understand what tax hikes would be repealed, the attorney general's office told the Oklahoma Supreme Court in written arguments.
In its brief, the attorney general's office said its view was that the teacher pay raise would not be affected regardless of what happens with the referendum on the tax bill. You can read more coverage from the decision here.
Spelling bee ends for four Oklahomans
Wednesday marked the end of the road for four Oklahoma students participating in the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., reports The Oklahoman's Tim Willert.
Shawn Terrado of Elgin, the Central Oklahoma Spelling Bee champion, spelled the word "parasiticide" correctly, but did not score high enough on a preliminary computer test to reach Thursday's final day.
"It's actually all right because I really didn't expect to go to the finals in my first year," she said in a phone interview. "It's about the experience."
Two others — Meena Sheshadri of Norman and Caled Albirini of Edmond — were eliminated from the competition after incorrectly spelling their words on stage.
Former teacher convicted of abusing student
A Craig County jury convicted a former second-grade teacher of sexually abusing a former student who was then 8 years old.
The jury, following a week-long trial, convicted Ronald “Ronnie” Manners, 49, of one count of child sexual abuse, according to a news release from Craig County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Michelle Lowry.
Vinita police arrested Manners in June 2015 on complaints of making lewd or indecent proposals to a child. Manners was a second-grade teacher at a Vinita elementary school when the crime occurred. His wife ran a day care in the Manners’ home.