On June 8, 2021, Tulsans will vote on the 2021 Bond for Tulsa Public Schools, a $414 million investment in Tulsa children, teachers, and families that will make an impact in every school. The 2021 Bond package includes four propositions:
- Proposition 1: Safe Learning Environments ($166.8 million)
- Proposition 2: Student and Classroom Technologies ($90.7 million)
- Proposition 3: Student Transportation ($17.3 million)
- Proposition 4: Quality Learning Materials and Programs ($139.3 million)
Proposition 1 of the bond package will ensure that every child learns in a safe, secure, healthy, and accessible environment. The projects included in this proposition include ADA-accessibility improvements district-wide with a particular focus on access to restrooms and building exits at our secondary schools.
“The majority of our buildings pre-date the Americans with Disabilities Act by 50 years or more,” said Chief Finance and Operations Officer Jorge Robles. “The 2021 Bond will cover the first five years of our 10-year accessibility plan, getting us that much closer to being a school system where every space is fully accessible to all Tulsans.”
Proposition 4 of the 2021 Bond includes a $11.5 million investment to strengthen science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programming in all schools and upgrade STEM labs across the district.
“To me, investing in STEM is investing in students’ curiosity,” said Edison Principal Clay Vinyard. “It's about discovering, trying things out, seeing if they work; if they don't, try something else. All STEM is based upon understanding the world around you. Students are going to have to be in the world and solve problems -- that’s what STEM is all about. That's why science is so important.”
Proposition 4 of the bond package will also provide $25 million to invest in athletics, physical education, wellness, and purposeful play at every school. This includes expanded athletic programming and equipment budgets at all middle schools, physical education equipment budgets at every school, improved outdoor learning and play spaces at our elementary schools, refreshing of stadiums, turf, fields, and pools district-wide, and uniforms and equipment for all secondary athletes.
The 2021 Bond for Tulsa Public Schools also includes investments in collaborative community partnerships including a new fitness center at East Central High School that will double as a community resource managed by the YMCA of Greater Tulsa in the evenings and on weekends.
“Providing resources to support a vision of a healthier, more vibrant community is a critical investment for this city that we love,” said Kyle Wilkes, Vice President of Mission Advancement at the YMCA of Greater Tulsa.
The 2021 Bond for Tulsa Public Schools includes $9.6 million in Proposition 4 for fine arts and auditorium upgrades. The funding will also allow all of our schools to purchase supplies for their fine arts programs.
“It's crucial. Most of our arts programs are self-funded. They really rely on bond funding to get them the resources that they need to be able to provide the exceptional fine arts experiences our students deserve,” explained Sara Phoenix, Tulsa Public Schools Fine Arts Content Manager. “It covers everything from elementary art and music to high school theater, visual arts, and instrumental music. None of those programs would be able to function without the support of Tulsans through bond funding.”
The 2021 Bond for Tulsa Public Schools will fund improvements and program expansions district-wide to give all our students the same opportunities to succeed in college and careers and provide every student with the state-of-the-art educational technology they need to learn and prepare for life after graduation. Additionally, the bond package will contribute $8.8 million in library digital and print resources, $29.9 million for textbooks and learning materials, and $12.1 million in project funds for every school -- all of which are critically important to providing a well-rounded, rich learning experience for students.
“Education is evolving. We have to keep up with what's happening so that our students have a competitive edge, and this bond would allow us to do that,” explained Ebony Johnson, Tulsa Public Schools Chief Learning Officer. “I feel like programs supported by these bond dollars would also increase our engagement, and we'll have more students coming to school. It will also take off a lot of stress and pressure on our teachers who really want to do some really cool stuff but may have some constraints as a result of lack of funding and lack of materials.”
You can find more information and details on each proposition at www.tulsaschools.org/2021bond. The 2021 bond package will keep your property tax rate level.
Early voting is available on Thursday, June 3 and Friday, June 4 from 8am-6pm at the Tulsa County Election Board. The Tulsa Voter Van will provide free rides to the polls for Tulsa voters. Contact them at 918-200-9153 or www.tulsavotervan.com. Click here to find your polling place to vote on June 8.