Tulsa Public Schools bond measures up for vote

Tulsa Public Schools (TPS) may soon have funding for several new projects if four different bond issues pass on March 3.

In order to pass, each initiative needs 60 percent support.

The first initiative is the largest at $239.74 million. This money would cover improvements for TPS facilities and is divided into 19 items.

The largest items, which make up nearly 78 percent of the total, would go towards school additions and renovations; PE facility upgrades; and heating and air-conditioning improvements.

Much of the funding for “school additions” would go towards replacing portable classrooms and trailers at elementary schools.

If the bond issue passes, the number of trailers and prefabs will be reduced from 123 to 42.

The second initiative is for $19.8 million to go towards libraries.

Of this, $6.225 million is designated for library books. $8.675 million would be used to build three new libraries and remodel currently existing ones.

A third initiative gives $17.025 million for transportation.
The vast majority of this is designated for buying new school buses and related equipment.

TPS plans on buying twenty buses a year over a six year period of time.

It also plans on equipping the busses “with smart technology for route maintenance and diagnostic assessment.”

The fourth and second largest initiative is for textbooks, classroom learning materials and technology at $138.435 million.

For textbooks, TPS plans on spending $50 per pupil annually in addition to state funds for both digital and print materials.

TPS also plans on spending $16.749 million on network upgrades.

The largest item by far in this group is for classroom computers, at $39.4 million.

This covers $148 per pupil annually for a six-year period and would cover both computers and tablets.

Another item is for the “21st Century Classroom,” which would supply classrooms with “interactive digital display systems, audio enhancement systems for approximately 1500 classrooms, video systems and other technologies.”

These bond issues will be funded through property taxes.
Taxes won’t be raised beyond their current levels, however.

Since current bonds are expiring, current tax levels would just remain in place rather than go down.

Post Author: tucollegian

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