Columns/Opinions

Tue
13
Feb
Edgar's picture

House Report

By State Representative Todd Russ

My teacher pay raise bill has passed committee. I’m hoping by the time many of you read this, it might have passed the full House.

The plan would give teachers and paraprofessionals, and career tech teachers a $5,000 raise beginning next school year.

While I carried the language on the teacher pay raise that specifies it will go to state certified teachers employed by public school in the state, the Senate requested that paraprofessionals such as school counselors, psychologists, psychometrists and CareerTech teachers and counselors be included. The teacher pay raise is part of the Step Up Oklahoma plan promoted by business and industry leaders from throughout the state and supported by many groups, including many of our education organizations. As I send this column, many teachers are at the state Capitol telling lawmakers they need and deserve this raise.

 

Tue
13
Feb
Edgar's picture

One For The Oklahoma History Books

By Max Nichols

 

In recent years, Osage County has increasingly become a part of America’s collective consciousness. With the play and movie “August: Osage County,” the sprawling home empire of the Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond, and the New York Times Bestseller and National Book Award Finalist “Killers of the Flower Moon:

 

The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI,” the world has focused much attention on this corner of Oklahoma. “The history of Osage County is a microcosm of the American West, from tallgrass prairies and an underground reservation to the survival of cowboy culture and the assault on tribal sovereignty,” said Dr. Bob Blackburn, executive director of the Oklahoma Historical Society. “The result is a fascinating story where facts are more dramatic than fiction.

 

Tue
06
Feb
Edgar's picture

House Report

By State Representative Todd Russ

By the time you read this, the legislative session will have begun. There will be much talk early on about the state budget, so I thought I would share some of the latest information. Things are looking up.

According to the most recent state treasurer’s report, December collections to the state treasury were $1 billion – up $107.9 million, or 12 percent – compared to receipts from December 2016. During 2017, gross receipts were $11.45 billion – 6.2 percent, or $667.6 million – above 2016 collections.

To read more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition. http://etypeservices.com/Cordell%20BeaconID392/

Tue
06
Feb
Edgar's picture

Burns Flat-Dill City School News

Larry R. Johnson - BF/DC

The month of February is upon us. This month is when we generally see a spike in absenteeism at school due to illness. The news of flu in Oklahoma this winter has been staggering. The number of deaths associated with the flu virus has risen dramatically within the past week. Experts say that 417 people had to be hospitalized within the last week due to the flu virus, bringing the total number of hospitalizations to 1,597 in our state. During one day last week, BF-DC Schools had 11 teachers and 38 students out sick district-wide.

According to the “Oklahoman”, the strain of flu going around is the H3-strain, which makes this year’s flu shot only 30-40 percent effective. Despite those numbers, experts still suggest getting the vaccine, adding that it lessens the symptoms and prevents serious complications from occurring. Doctors say a typical flu season in Oklahoma usually runs from October to May.

Wed
24
Jan
Edgar's picture

A Word From The Superintendent

By Brad Overton

With the beginning of the legislative session a little more than a week away, Oklahomans find themselves in need of solutions. Solutions often don’t come easy, and the issues we are currently facing are more challenging than ever.

With so many challenges that our state is facing, I’ll try to keep my thoughts on the issues that face public education. In my opinion, the overall funding of public education is insufficient. This lack of funding hits education in several different ways.

Wed
24
Jan
Edgar's picture

Teachers Deserve To Have A Voice

By State Representative Todd Russ

I was disturbed to read a recent news story about a Louisiana teacher’s arrest after she stood up at a school board meeting and questioned why the superintendent was getting another salary raise while teachers and support staff were not. At the superintendent’s direction, a marshal was summoned to confront the woman, who is seen on video leaving the meeting room voluntarily. The video then shows the teacher in the hallway on the floor being handcuffed and then pulled down the hallway and put into a patrol car. The teacher says on the video that she was pushed to the floor by a marshal and that she was not resisting arrest. A city prosecutor and an attorney for the school board later chose not to press charges against the teacher.

Tue
16
Jan
Edgar's picture

Burns Flat-Dill City School News

By Larry R. Johnson - BF/DC Superintendent

January is School Board Recognition Month and BFDC Schools is joining school districts across the state of Oklahoma to thank these community volunteers for their untiring dedication to public education.

Serving on a school board has been described as the ‘toughest volunteer job in America.’ Yet our school board members dedicate countless personal hours to attending meetings, school functions, and hours of preparation for the decisions they make.

To read more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition. http://etypeservices.com/Cordell%20BeaconID392/

Tue
16
Jan
Edgar's picture

Home Country

By Slim Randles

It was strange, Doc thought. All these years. All these people. It still hurts.

Old Tom had died around midnight, and Doc didn’t get more than an hour’s sleep since then. Just before he went, Tom reached out and gripped Doc’s hand and thanked him for everything. He was smiling when he went.

Somehow that made it worse for Doc than just having death bring a pleasant new start for someone in pain and agony. Doc hadn’t been able to patch him up this time. When someone Tom’s age has his organs shut down, there just isn’t much a doctor can do but make him comfortable and say goodbye.

To read more please log in or subscribe to the digital edition. http://etypeservices.com/Cordell%20BeaconID392/

Tue
09
Jan
Edgar's picture

A Word From The Superintendent

By Brad Overton

 

IThe month of January has been designated as School Board Member Appreciation Month. In my article this week, I would like to share some of my thoughts on the important role of School Board Members. School board members agree to serve a five year term when they decide to run for the school board. Members often serve more than five years which means filing and running again. In my opinion it is a huge commitment to file for an elected position.

By putting one’s name out there and letting the community decide, it puts individuals in a vulnerable position. It takes courage and a willingness to serve; being a school board member is not for everyone

 

Tue
09
Jan
Edgar's picture

House Report

By State Representative Todd Russ

 

I’m thankful for a New Year and the chance to clean up some state agency problems. As I write this, work is ongoing for a House Special Investigation Committee charged with looking into financial mismanagement at the State Department of Health that stretches back at least six years. After questioning three executive level employees and the department’s former chief operating officer, it appears the department shuffled federal funds into unauthorized accounts and lived beyond its financial means. Department leaders provided the state with paperwork each year making it look as if they had balanced budgets.

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