Education funding issues were brought to the Henryetta school board Monday night.
At the October board meeting, Oklahoma Education Association representative Stacy Bullard her group is pushing for pay raises for teachers as well as support staff.
To fund that, Bullard said legislators need to drop their partisan politics and back an increase in the gross production tax rate.
“Henryetta lost a half-million dollars in the past three years,” she said. “Imagine how far we would be if we were totally funded.”
By increasing the gross production taxes, that would provide $1.5 billion in funding. “We need to do what’s right and take the labels off. I don’t care if a person is a democrat or republican, it is our children who are paying the price.”
As part of her presentation, Bullard showed a video that pointed out 382 Oklahoma teachers left state schools in the middle of the last school year. “Money was a driving factor. We rank 51st in state funding. We lead in funding cuts in education with 27 percent. The closest state to us had 12 percent in education cuts.”
Bullard urged the board members to talk to their legislators.
The OEA is hosting a tri-county meeting Oct. 21 at Mabrey Bank in Okmulgee to discuss funding for public education. She encouraged everyone to attend.
Following her was school financial advisor Nancy McKay who pointed out that the funding problems were, “cold, hard facts.” She said the Henryetta schools has had a lot of good things happening including the bond issue that resulted in two new buildings, STEM program expansion, new text books, added teachers for the STEM program. “We are going in the right direction. This is not business as normal in a lot of school districts. If we had not had these cuts what could we have been doing for the students.”
Starting off the meeting, four members of the fledgling FFA program were on hand to announce their accomplishments.
Ryan Clark, Necie Gillin, Joey Watson and Tammy Treagesser pointed out their teams placed third in the state cattle judging while Gillin was sixth in the individual competition out of 754 contestants.
FFA members displayed some of the indoors exhibits they had at the Tulsa State fair. This past Saturday some 25 chapter members were involved in a cleanup program downtown.
Board members passed a resolution calling for the annual school election Feb. 13. That will be to fill the seat currently held by Brandy Cunningham.
Approval was given for Ginny Holder to be a mentor teacher for Olivia Winter and Beverly Kiehl to be the mentor for Loren Mitchell.


Complete school board meeting video: