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Morning Bell: State working to expand summer feeding program

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Caleb Wallace, 17, goes through the lunch line in the cafeteria at U.S. Grant High School in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, June 6, 2018. Oklahoma City Public Schools is providing summer meals at no cost to students at parks, splash pads and schools around the metro area between June 4 and July 20. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Caleb Wallace, 17, goes through the lunch line in the cafeteria at U.S. Grant High School in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, June 6, 2018. Oklahoma City Public Schools is providing summer meals at no cost to students at parks, splash pads and schools around the metro area between June 4 and July 20. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

Good Thursday morning. Roughly 62 percent of students in Oklahoma qualify for free and reduced-price meals during the school year, according to the state Department of Education. However, of those students, only about six percent were receiving meals as part of the Summer Food Service Program, said Joy Hofmeister, state superintendent of education.

“What happens normally in the summer is that kids are out, they grow and they come back to school and they should be ready to learn,” Hofmeister said. “But in Oklahoma, it can be a setback because not only do we have to deal with a period of time where they haven't been learning, but now perhaps a period of time when bodies normally are growing and our students are suffering from poor nutrition and food deserts that exist over the summer.”

The Oklahoman recently took a closer look at the state's summer feeding program and efforts to expand it. 

Medical marijuana tax revenue for schools?

Patients in Oklahoma will pay one of the highest tax rates for medical marijuana among the 30 states that currently offer it if State Question 788 is approved by voters this month, reports Oklahoma Watch. However, there has also been little discussion about how the tax revenue will be spent or how much it will be, particularly for schools, which are in line to get additional funds.

Fifty Teacher for America teachers participated in a welcome session in Oklahoma City on Wednesday and Mayor David Holt addressed the new teachers.


Reflecting on safety 

Reflective window tinting has been installed at more than a dozen schools in the Moore Public Schools district after the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012. The tinting is similar to a one-way mirror, allowing those inside to see out without allowing others to see in, something Moore Police Department Staff Sgt. David Dickinson thought could make a difference for safety.

“That (Sandy Hook) really changed the way folks did business,” Dickinson said. “When I started working at Highland East Junior High (in Moore) a few years ago, I started looking at ‘What can I do at my school?' And that kind of started the real emphasis on the window tinting.”

Nominations sought for FTS

The Foundation for Tulsa Schools is seeking nominations for the nonprofit organization's inaugural Distinguished Alumni Awards. 

The purpose of the awards is to acknowledge outstanding alumni for their individual achievements, contributions to their industry or profession and service to the community, according to a news release

That does it for today's Morning Bell. Got a story idea, comment or question? Hit me up at bfelder@oklahoman.com. 


Related Photos
Caleb Wallace, 17, goes through the lunch line in the cafeteria at U.S. Grant High School in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, June 6, 2018. Oklahoma City Public Schools is providing summer meals at no cost to students at parks, splash pads and schools around the metro area between June 4 and July 20. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

Caleb Wallace, 17, goes through the lunch line in the cafeteria at U.S. Grant High School in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, June 6, 2018. Oklahoma City Public Schools is providing summer meals at no cost to students at parks, splash pads and schools around the metro area between June 4 and July 20....

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-5140f51f7bb738bfa18a51d20b5b8c7b.jpg" alt="Photo - Caleb Wallace, 17, goes through the lunch line in the cafeteria at U.S. Grant High School in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, June 6, 2018. Oklahoma City Public Schools is providing summer meals at no cost to students at parks, splash pads and schools around the metro area between June 4 and July 20. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman" title="Caleb Wallace, 17, goes through the lunch line in the cafeteria at U.S. Grant High School in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, June 6, 2018. Oklahoma City Public Schools is providing summer meals at no cost to students at parks, splash pads and schools around the metro area between June 4 and July 20. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Caleb Wallace, 17, goes through the lunch line in the cafeteria at U.S. Grant High School in Oklahoma City, Wednesday, June 6, 2018. Oklahoma City Public Schools is providing summer meals at no cost to students at parks, splash pads and schools around the metro area between June 4 and July 20. Photo by Nate Billings, 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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