- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 11, 2014

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - More schools have announced plans to cancel classes March 31 so students and staff can attend a rally at the state Capitol in favor of more education funding.

School boards in Bixby, Broken Arrow and Sapulpa all voted Monday to cancel classes for the March for Education rally, while leaders in Claremore and Owasso tabled discussions on the issue until next month, the Tulsa World reported Tuesday (https://bit.ly/1emILw5 ). The Tulsa and Sand Springs districts previously voted to cancel classes on the day of the rally.

The cancellations have drawn the criticism of Republican state Reps. Jason Murphey of Guthrie and Mike Turner of Oklahoma City, who say public districts shouldn’t use public resources to lobby the state for more funding.

“It’s indefensible for government entities to use government resources to lobby government for more taxpayer money for more government,” Murphey said earlier this month.

The Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration said no public funds are being used to pay for transportation and other costs associated with the rally.

“Teachers, school staff and parents in our community believe it is important that we demonstrate our strong commitment to improving educational programming in our state,” said Bixby Superintendent Kyle Wood.

“This rally has been organized to do that - not with political motivations but with a showing of a sincere and unified voice that our students deserve to have schools that are funded appropriately and not relegated to a continuously growing set of unfunded mandates and state testing.”

Wood and other superintendents said instruction time will be made up and that teachers will not be on contract time March 31.

“I believe this is one of the most important things that we do. My question to legislators is: Why aren’t you standing on the line with us?” Sapulpa Superintendent Kevin Burr said.


Information from: Tulsa World, https://www.tulsaworld.com

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