theadanews.com - Ada, Oklahoma

Editorials

March 19, 2014

Education must be top priority

Byng — Our state legislature has passed numerous school “reform” bills over the last five years, including legislation for an A-F grading system, a new teacher leader evaluation program, as well as a third grade “reading” test in order to enter the fourth grade, to name a few.  

All of these reforms have added additional costs while our legislature has continued to whittle away revenue from the state income tax. In this election year we face a $180 million shortfall in collections with our governor calling for yet another reduction in the state income tax. If this comes to pass, common folk will see a reduction of about $30 while the wealthiest Oklahomans (in the top one percent) will save about $2,000. We are going to spur economic growth and have less money available for services next year!  

In Pontotoc County alone, we have lost in excess of approximately $3 million in state aid revenue to our schools due to the factors being reduced again and again. We are receiving $243.60 per weighted student less than in July 2009. All of us have seen class size continue to increase, even in K-through-third grade.  In 1990, HB 1017 established class size for those primary grades at 20.  All rules and regulations of that landmark legislation, brought to us by then Gov. Henry Bellmon, seem to be of little consequence in today’s legislative chambers. If the funding factors were restored to fiscal year 2009 we could hire the teachers needed to keep class sizes at the level research shows to be optimum. We could employ 70 additional teachers with $3 million! This represents an annual loss! 

Our state aid revenue per student weight has decreased from an average of $2,384.46 to $1,895.82 while our county total weighted average daily membership has grown from $11,280.51 to $12,286.48.  An increase of 1,005.97 student weights in Pontotoc County schools! The verbiage to school folks has been, “Cuts are the new normal.” Cuts due to an economic crisis would be normal, but any cut due to the political adage, “let’s get reelected” is something altogether different.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Editorials
  • Do I have to be numb to serve?

    How well do you do watching the channels on TV that show sick and starving children in other countries?

    July 23, 2014

  • Too much sodium can be a health risk

    Salty potato chips. Salted popcorn. Salt on French fries. We are a nation that loves salt. Although it enhances the flavor of foods, too much sodium is not a good thing.

    July 19, 2014

  • Working cattle during summertime heat

    Understanding and avoiding heat stress in cattle can be a valuable management tool for summertime in Oklahoma.   

     

    July 19, 2014

  • NASA says life on other planets is no longer a fool’s errand

    It has always seemed unlikely to me that this universe, the size of which renders you and me microscopic, could contain only us. Then again, it could, and certainly authors of “The Privileged Planet” make a strong case for it.

     

    July 19, 2014

  • Historic icon raised to celebrate Capitol's 100th birthday

    It was with great fanfare nearly a century ago that Oklahomans crowded into cars or horse-drawn buggies and paraded to 23rd and Lincoln.

     

    July 19, 2014

  • Jerry Duncan Are there absolutes that can be trusted?

    Back in the 70s there was a film series with the philosopher Francis Schaeffer titled, “How Shall We Then Live.” He described how every nation that became the leading nation of the world had a discernable and predictable rise and fall.

     

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ukraine is a personal tragedy for one Ada resident

    Democracy is the worst form of government, the sage has said, except for everything else.

    July 14, 2014

  • Franz case raises troubling questions

    Dear Editor,

    What kind of law and judges do we have in Ada?

    July 14, 2014

  • Fourth of July celebration capped week of fun events

       Over 380 eggs, over 100 water balloons, over 40 turtles, boxes of ice cream bars, unlimited prizes, rope and a creek, judo, longest standing 5K/10K race in Oklahoma, cans of whipped cream, colored powder celebration, motorized train, Bernoulli’s Principle, miniature golf, shaved-ice snow cones, fire truck hose wars, and a most awesome fireworks display that scared the ducks all the way to Wapanucka. 

    July 14, 2014

  • Common Core: The untold story

    Oklahoma public school educators may be forgiven if they liken themselves to a soccer ball in a World Cup championship match.

    July 14, 2014

AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Stocks
Poll

Are you pleased that Oklahoma has repealed Common Core standards for public school students?

Yes
No
     View Results