TPS is proposing a SMART & SECURE SCHOOLS bond for 2013. This bond focuses on classroom technology and making schools safer with additional fire sprinklers and upgraded school security. The $38 million bond initiative would be placed on the May 14, 2013 ballot.
|Projects||2013 Budgeted Costs|
|Sprinkler Installation||$4 mill|
Citizen Tax Impact
Estimated Tax Increase from $38 million Bond Election for a $100,000 home
|Item||School District||Sinking Fund Levy|
|1.||TPS||23.45 Current (to 27.77)|
This bond proposition is a request by Tulsa Public Schools for voters to approve the sale of $38 million in bonds, with a focus on:
On Feb. 25, 2013, the Citizens' Bond Development Committee made a recommendation to the TPS Board that the district pursue this bond proposal. It will permit the district to defray the capital cost of its plan for instructional technologies, infrastructure and safety-related items without using general fund dollars.
Compared with other neighboring districts, TPS is lagging behind in technology. Our children do not have access to computers and critical classroom technology needed to succeed in an increasingly digital world. We want to give our students every opportunity to become competent in the use of technology, as their college and career readiness will very much depend upon it.
In addition, TPS does not currently meet the technical requirements needed for standardized testing under Common Core. To meet the requirements, we need to upgrade and add computers district-wide.
The Education Improvement Committee (EIC) was created on Nov. 8, 2012, to assess the curriculum and technology needs across Tulsa Public Schools to support teachers and help improve student achievement. The goals and objectives of the assessment were to compile a prioritized list of needs (projects) with estimated costs for each project. The assessment was teacher-led and focused. Input was gathered from teachers informally using a "blog," encouraging teachers to post their thoughts and impressions about the current level and effectiveness of technology as well as areas of need. More than 250 teachers responded and their input was used to develop a formal survey.
From Dec. 7 - 14, 2012, more than 1,300 teachers, principals, other certified and support staff participated in the survey. Nearly 80 percent of the participants were teachers, more than 10 percent were "other certified staff"; about 8 percent were support staff; and nearly 2 percent principals. There was good representation among all grade levels, both primary and secondary. (See a summary of results in Question 5 below).
In addition, the Citizens' Bond Development Committee, comprised of community members, leaders, parents, teachers and administrative staff, met to analyze the data and provide a community perspective. Ultimately, they recommended to the TPS board on Feb. 25, 2013, that the district proceed with the $38 million bond initiative. If approved by the board, the bond program would be placed on the May 14, 2013, ballot.
Our survey of more than 1,300 teachers, principals and staff revealed the following:
View the comprehensive survey results.
Integrating technology into the 21st century classroom effectively is challenging. According to a Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation survey, youngsters ages 8-18 use electronic media for more than six hours a day. (Roberts, D. (1999) “kids & media @the new millennium.”) Born into a world of computers, cell phones and gaming devices, today’s students expect to learn:
By combining technology judiciously with new approaches to education, a more personalized kind of learning can occur, addressing these key areas:
As a public school district, we compete for students with private and charter institutions. Tech-savvy students may leave schools that do not supply learning challenges which they perceive to be relevant to life outside the classroom. Tulsa Public Schools' SMART & SECURE SCHOOLS plan was developed by the district for students who live in a different world than their parents and grandparents.
TPS will have a competitive advantage if, by intelligently using technology in the classroom, we help our students achieve the skills necessary to live successfully in the 21st Century.
|Electrical/Server Room Upgrades||$2,200,000.00|
|Fire Sprinkler Systems||3,676,000.00|
|District-wide Security Upgrades||2,750,000.00|
|Classroom Computers /Tablets/Software||15,126,000.00|
|Teaching Technology Equipment||6,138,000.00|
|District-wide Wireless Equipment||1,850,000.00|
|Multi-Functional Printing Equipment||3,700,000.00|
|Internet Infrastructure and Capacity Upgrade Equipment||300,000.00|
|Instructional Learning & Assessment Software||1,150,000.00|
|District Shared Video Technology||260,000.00|
|New Professional Development System & Equipment||90,000.00|
|Professional Services Bond Management Fee||760,000.00|
Please see the 2013 SMART & SECURE SCHOOLS Bond Proposal, pages 9-10, for a more detailed description of each item.
Previous bond initiatives have focused on bringing the district's facilities up to par. Since the 1996 bond – and successive bonds, culminating in the $354 million bond in 2010 – $261.4 million has been spent on the construction of new facilities, classroom additions, heating and air conditioning and replacing aging windows and roofs. We spent the remaining dollars on textbooks, learning materials, buses and physical education facilities. Now that TPS is close to finishing the improvements to its physical plant, we face ever-widening gaps in technology. While technology was a small part of the previous bonds, much of the equipment that was purchased is at or near the end of its life cycle.
With the statewide implementation of Common Core, the district's need for technology is even more desperate given the standardized testing requirements.
Each device has its own purpose and we find ourselves in a transitional time when it is difficult to predict which technologies will prevail (i.e., computers vs. laptops; tablet devices and eReaders vs. traditional textbooks, etc.). In studying the district's options, we are convinced that our best plan is to provide flexibility so we can benefit from evolving technologies.
This also highlights one of the needs of the bond, to increase the infrastructure to allow more devices to be used in our facilities. The infrastructure demands increase dramatically as more staff and students expect to use the infrastructure for their own devices. We have seen a dramatic surge in network activity, which is beginning to exceed our existing pipeline. We want to encourage improving learning opportunities and have the technology systems in place to allow it.
According to the U.S. Department of Education and recent studies by the National Training and Simulation Association, technology-based instruction can reduce the time students take to reach a learning objective by up to 80 percent.
Last year, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan jointly unveiled a five-year challenge and the "Digital Textbook Playbook" to help transform American classrooms into digital learning labs by modifying the textbook adoption process, allowing K-12 schools to use taxpayer funding once reserved for printed books to be used on iPads, Kindles and other devices, as well as software.
Mooresville Graded School District in North Carolina, went digital five years ago, with laptops and MacBook Air computers district-wide. The district has not purchased a textbook in over five years, with the exception of those required for high school Advanced Placement classes. On state tests in reading, math and science, an average of 89 percent of students across grades met proficiency standards in 2012, compared with 73 percent four years ago. Graduation rates are up 10 percent over four years ago, to 90 percent, and more graduates are attending college, the rate rising 8 percent to 88 percent in 2012.
This proposal would result in a very modest increase of $3.38 per month (or $40.50 per year) for citizens owning a house valued at $100,000.
If the bond election on May 14, 2013, is successful, the first series of technology bonds would be sold in August 2013 and the first tax levy would be in the fall of 2014, with half of the taxes due in December 2014 and the balance no later than March 31, 2015.
As the district seeks to implement the 2013 SMART & SECURE SCHOOLS bond, we know it will go a long way toward bridging the technology gap in TPS classrooms. As we wrap up the remaining capital improvement projects that were part of the 2010 bond, we know that fewer dollars will need to be spent on building construction and repair. None of us have a crystal ball, but given the rapid change and relatively short lifespan of technology, it is clear that the district will need to make future investments in technology. In 2015, Tulsa Public Schools will likely move forward new bond initiatives, and it is expected that a higher percentage of bond dollars will be spent on technology as the district migrates toward a 1:1 student-to-computer ratio.
No. School districts are not allowed to use funds from a bond issue for operating expenses such as teacher, administrator, or employee salaries. Bond funds must be kept separate from operating funds.
Over the last five years, TPS has reduced spending by $23 million and closed 14 schools under Project Schoolhouse. During the 2010-11 school year, we reduced teaching staff by 225 positions and administrative/support staff by 130 positions. For the 2012-13 school year, we narrowly avoided cutting 75 teaching positions because two generous donors stepped forward to provide additional funding. Because of severe limitations on the general fund operating budget and the lack of availability of other resources, the district's best option to meet the demand for new and improved technology is to finance the improvements through the 2013 SMART & SECURE SCHOOLS bond.
Yes. There will be two community forums (scheduled as follows):
|Tues., Feb. 26; 6 - 7 p.m.||Education Service Center, 3027 S. New Haven Ave. (in the Selman Room)|
|Thurs., Feb. 28; 6 - 7 p.m.||East Central High School, 12150 E. 11th St. (in the
Additional parent and community meetings will be held at schools throughout the district in the weeks leading up to the vote on Tues., May 14, 2013. Please visit our website at www.tulsaschools.org for an updated list of community meetings.
|Monday, March 4, 2013; 6:30 p.m.||TPS Board vote|
|Friday, April 19, 2013||Final Day to Register to Vote|
|Tuesday, May 14, 2013; 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.||Election Day|
The Tulsa County Election Board office is located at 555 North Denver, in Tulsa. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. You may also register at any one of the 26 Tulsa County Tag Agencies (click here for a complete listing): http://www.tulsacounty.org/documents/VoterRegistrationAgency.pdf
Registration applicant cutoffs are 24 days before each election. (You must register by Friday, April 19, in order to vote in the May 14 bond election).
Polling locations: http://www.tulsacounty.org/precinctLocator/precinctslist.asp
Absentee ballots by mail may be requested until 5 p.m. on the Wednesday before the election. In-person absentee voting is available on the Friday and Monday before all elections from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. In Federal and State elections, in-person absentee voting is additionally available on Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. For additional information call the Tulsa County Election Board office at 918-596-5780.
Tulsa Public Schools believes in equal opportunity for all students. Through this SMART & SECURE SCHOOLS bond issue, the district seeks to provide a quality learning experience for every student, every day, without exception.
We live in a complex transitional time. While we fully expect that tablets and eReaders will take on a substantially larger role in the classroom, TPS wants to build a technology program with flexibility. The 2013 SMART & SECURE SCHOOLS bond is a critical "first step," but even if it passes, it will not allow us to attain a 1:1 student-to-computer ratio. This means that many of our students will have to share computers. To achieve a 1:3 student-to-computer ratio, our teachers have indicated that laptop "carts" will provide us with the flexibility and portability necessary to optimize student access.
Under this proposed bond, classroom computer funds will be distributed at the rate of $337 per pupil. This will include classroom computing devices ranging from desktops, laptops, and tablet computers to meet a minimum computer to student ratio of 1-to-3. That ratio will provide students access to a combination of tools to meet the demands of class, small group, and individual student work as well as the Oklahoma State Dept. of Education requirements for online testing. Library ebooks will be purchased for circulation/downloading onto computers and tablets. Replacement of district support computers is also included in this category.
There is enough flexibility in the SMART & SECURE SCHOOLS bond to allow the district to begin the migration toward tablet and eReader devices. However, the technology requirements related to state standardized testing will largely mandate that a significant percentage of the $337-per-student allocation be spent on laptop and desktop computers.
Ongoing training and technical support will be provided so teachers can maximize classroom technology. The district has already identified a couple of open positions that they are considering converting to technical support positions. They are combing through general budget dollars to fund additional positions, as bond dollars cannot be used to pay for these positions.
Please visit the 2013 SMART & SECURE SCHOOLS bond section of the TPS website at www.tulsaschools.org or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2013 Smart & Secure Schools bond projects by site:
2010 Bond Project Status - remaining projects by site:
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