Columns/Opinions

Tue
10
Apr
Edgar's picture

A Word From The Superintendent

Brad Overton

It would be an understatement to describe the past few weeks within public education as crazy. This is a historical time for public education. I hope that I can provide a little insight as to some of the issues that still have a lot of teachers walking out.

On March 28th the Oklahoma House of Representatives passed several historical funding bills for public education. The bills generated almost $500 million in new funding for public education most of which created a pay raise for teachers and support personnel. Historical... yes! This marked the first time in history that the State House passed bills to increase taxes to generate this much revenue. The difficulty with passing these measures is the requirement of a 75% majority. It is a tough task for 75% of legislators to agree on anything much less increases in taxes.

Tue
10
Apr
Edgar's picture

House Report

By State Representative Todd Russ

The governor last week signed House Bill 3705, providing K-12 education with $2.9 billion for Fiscal Year 2019, which starts in July. This is $480 million, or 19.7 percent, above current year funding and is more than the previous highest budget of $2.5 billion in FY09. It even exceeds that budget when considering the rate of inflation. That would be $2.8 billion in today’s economy, which is what schools told us they needed to consider education fully funded for this year.

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Tue
03
Apr
Edgar's picture

What to Know About the New Medicare Cards

Dear Savvy Senior,

What can you tell me about the new Medicare cards? I’ve heard there are a lot of scams associated with these new cards and I want to make sure I protect myself. - Leery Senior

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Tue
03
Apr
Edgar's picture

House Report

By State Representative Todd Russ

The governor last week signed House Bill 1023XX, which will give teachers an average pay raise of $6,100 beginning next school year and going into the future. She also signed two funding measures to pay for the raises as well as provide increased funding to our public schools.

I’ve heard some confusion over whether the state passed enough revenue to pay for the teacher raises and the increased education funding. I want to reassure those in the education community that we do have enough money for this task.

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Tue
27
Mar
Edgar's picture

House Report

By State Representative Todd Russ

The Oklahoma Education Association on Friday held a press conference in Oklahoma City outlining a $906 million tax increase plan that would pay for educator and state employee pay raises as well as increase funding for schools.

The plan contains a lot of the things we’ve seen in past revenue measures that have been brought before the House and Senate as well as a few new ideas.

The new plan relies on raising the gross production tax on oil and gas wells to 5 percent, instituting a tax on wind generation, increasing the tax on tobacco products, motor fuels, hotels and motels, alcohol and car tags, capping itemized income tax deductions and restoring the Earned Income Tax credit, eliminating the capital gains tax deduction, removing tax exemptions for pre-written software, installation and delivery parity, and Internet sales tax.

 

Tue
27
Mar
Edgar's picture

How To Write A Will

Dear Savvy Senior, Though it may seem hard to believe, at age 65, I never have gotten around to making a will, but I’d like to now. My question is: Do I need to hire a lawyer to write my will, or can I do it myself? I want to get my affairs in order, but I hate paying an attorney fee if I don’t have to. - Getting Organized

Dear Getting, It’s not hard to believe at all. Fewer than half of American adults have a will, mainly because they either haven’t thought about it or gotten around to it, or they’ve put it off because they don’t want to think about dying.

 

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Tue
20
Mar
Edgar's picture

House Report

By State Representative Todd Russ

State representatives considered 175 pieces of legislation last week on the House floor. Many questions were asked and debates given in favor and against various bills and resolutions. By almost 11 p.m.

Thursday night we’d heard every House bill or resolution we could hear before the midnight deadline for measures to be passed out of the chamber of origin.

Appropriations and budget bills and measures crafted by the speaker of the House as well as joint resolutions are eligible to be heard at any time, but all other measures had to be voted on by this deadline. Now, House committees will resume meeting to consider legislation passed to us by the Senate.

 

Tue
20
Mar
Edgar's picture

A Word From The Superintendent

By Brad Overton

I am sure that most of you have heard about and at least formed some type of opinion on the impending teacher walkout that is scheduled for April 2, 2018. I would like to share some thoughts on this issue by providing some background information on this topic.

It is my goal that you will have a better understanding of why our teachers feel that such a drastic step such as walking out is necessary.

The issues behind a teacher pay raise are two fold pay for teachers and attracting as well as retaining, people into the education profession.

 

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Tue
13
Mar
Edgar's picture

Burns Flat-Dill City School News

By Larry R. Johnson

I want to address the question regarding the day we missed for bad weather and whether or not we will make it up. My general policy is that for each two days we miss; we will make one up. So, at this point, we do not have to make up any days. Concerning the old John Ross Elementary building, our board approved a bid for its demolition.

Hutton, Inc. from Elk City has started asbestos removal. After the asbestos has been taken away, the building will be demolished and removed. We have decided to keep the gymnasium for a baseball/softball hitting facility. The bid was for $127,205.00 and except for our deductible of $2500, will be paid for by insurance.

 

Tue
13
Mar
Edgar's picture

House Report

By State Representative Todd Russ

 

I hear the frustration and anger expressed by teachers from throughout the state who are threatening to walk out of classrooms on April 2 in order to make a strong statement about receiving raises. I am married to a teacher and have other educators in my family. I have long been a supporter of public education and know the incredible benefits of having a highly qualified teacher in our classrooms to help our students reach their highest potential and be ready to lead our future.

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