Mondays with Mendenhall - Jan. 28, 2019
This past Wednesday I had the opportunity to spend time in Oklahoma City at the Oklahoma Association of School Administrators Legislative Conference. I had a number of takeaways from this conference and wanted to share just a few of those.
I am encouraged that predictions have collections up this year, which should yield more revenue for the State of Oklahoma. However, legislators are cautioning us against counting on this funding. It looks like there should be $600-$700 million revenue growth but many legislators are saying this could shrink to between $250 and $400 million.
In my role as Superintendent, it is important for me to advocate for public education and specifically Muskogee Public Schools. Therefore, I will work closely with our legislators to ensure that education is a priority and any funding earmarked for common education is prioritized properly.
I was pleased last year when teachers finally received a much-needed raise for the first time in many years. I am also encouraged by the comments from Governor Kevin Stitt when he says education is a priority, and in fact, says that he wants to make Oklahoma a top 10 state.
This year, it will be important to see additional funding placed into operational cost, which positively influences the classroom. Programs like reading sufficiency and summer school can make a significant difference for students. I feel programs that help increase academic achievement are important to fund this year.
My hope is that we can finally fund the mandates of class size reductions, funding equity, alternative certifications and others that were placed into law years ago that are good for kids.
Dr. Jarod Mendenhall
Muskogee Public Schools