Claremore Daily Progress

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March 28, 2014

Superintendents McClaren, Ballard speak at Chamber

CLAREMORE —

Two veteran superintendents addressed the challenges educators have in this day and age Thursday during the month Claremore Chamber of Commerce luncheon.
Claremore Public Schools Superintendent Michael McClaren and Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Keith Ballard spoke about current issues regarding their school districts.
The two superintendents highlighted the fact that school districts across the state are dealing with a lot of difficult circumstances regarding the lack of education funding and available resources for teachers and students. 
The struggle for a majority of Oklahoma school districts to collaborate with the state department of education on the A-F grading system and state testing has also left many superintendents, teachers and parents more than frustrated.
“You have to be collaborative today, you have to think what other people think of you matters in order to be successful. You have to bring people along,” said Ballard. 
On Monday, education supporters will rally at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City to call on the Oklahoma legislature to prioritize funding for education and restore per pupil funding to pre-recession levels.
Between 2008 and 2011, Tulsa Public Schools lost about $22 million in resources. 
“Since 2009, Claremore Public Schools has lost more than $5 million in funding,” said McClaren.
Ballard said as many as 15-20,000 people are expected to show for the rally. “I will be speaking at the rally to talk about resources for schools in Oklahoma. Our resources are low,” he said. “Bewtween 2008 and 2011, Tulsa Public Schools lost about $22 million in resources. When the money came back, the state was not able to replensish those resources into the schools — and they can, it’s a matter of choices they are making.”
McClaren said the Claremore schools are still making special programs happen with less money, however, it’s hard to get a quality education at bargain basement prices.

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