Early childhood education provides pre-kindergarten students with learning fundamentals and prepares them for success in the classroom and in life. The proposed 2021 bond package will expand early childhood opportunities by providing more pre-kindergarten classrooms and resources for all students. On June 8, Tulsans will have the opportunity to vote for the 2021 Bond for Tulsa Public Schools, a $414 million investment in Tulsa children, teachers, and families. The 2021 bond will provide $19.9 million to increase access to programs with proven success in preparing students for college and careers, including expanding access to early childhood education programs for every Tulsa child.
Students who attend pre-kindergarten in Tulsa Public Schools gain a strong foundation for lifelong learning by working on language, social-emotional learning, literacy, mathematics, physical health, and motor skills. With the proper support in a safe environment, young students will learn to interact with one another in a classroom setting.
"We're going to take care of your child. We're going to give students the nurturing and academic support they need so that they're ready for kindergarten and first grade," said Chief Learning Officer Ebony Johnson. "In pre-kindergarten, students are learning simple skills such as how to clean off your table, how to share with a friend, how to put things away, and how to turn in assignments. Then, of course, they're learning foundational phonemic awareness, their letters, sounds, and numbers. They are also learning how to ask questions and working on proper speaking skills."
By expanding access to early childhood programming, all students will have the opportunity to gain essential learning skills prior to starting school. These skills are the key to a successful education, career, and future.
"We don't want our students to get to college and be attempting to figure out how to study on their own," said Early Childhood Education Executive Director, Kelly Kane. "Setting goals, being committed, and regulating themselves. These are all skills that we start building in pre-kindergarten."
Kane also shared that research shows students who attend high-quality pre-kindergarten programs are more likely to have good attendance and graduate from high school.
The 2015 bond for Tulsa Public Schools helped to expand pre-kindergarten programming, increasing our pre-kindergarten cohort more than 18% over the past several years. More than 68% of Tulsa Public Schools kindergartners have attended pre-kindergarten. If the 2021 bond is passed, Tulsa Public Schools can continue to expand pre-kindergarten opportunities for Tulsa children.
Pre-K students use books, interactive play centers, building blocks, interactive kitchens, musical instruments, and more to learn. Early childhood education inspires students and provokes their imaginations, creating opportunities for them to explore while learning. The 2021 bond will also help to provide the resources students need to succeed.
"A hands-on experience is so important in early childhood," said Kane. "The bond funding will help provide the materials and space to do that for our kids."
You can find more information and details on each proposition at www.tulsaschools.org/2021bond. The proposed bond package will not increase your tax rates - it is designed to keep your property taxes level.
Early voting is available on Thursday, June 3 and Friday, June 4 from 8am-6pm at the Tulsa County Board of Elections. 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 learn more about Early Childhood Education at Tulsa Public Schools.