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State Department of Education Seeks $6.5 Million in Supplemental Funding


OKLAHOMA CITY (Feb. 21, 2014) — Due to the sharply rising cost of providing healthcare coverage for school employees, the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) is requesting a supplemental budget appropriation of $6,540,794 to fully fund its Flexible Benefits Allowance (FBA) in the current fiscal year.

The FBA provides funding to districts to cover the cost of insuring full-time staff and support personnel. Based on data certified Jan. 1, school districts have added more than 1,300 employees eligible for state-funded insurance since October 2012.

OKTOY Blog: Joy | 2014 NTOY Program conference

“Don’t lose your sense of Joy!” This is the advice from the 1996 National Teacher of the Year and proclaimed “force-of-nature,” Mary Beth Blegen from Minnesota.

I recently returned from the 2014 NTOY Program Conference. It was the first national meeting of our class of State Teachers of the Year. The memorable theme that came from our last homeroom gathering was that eye-to-eye reminder from Mary Beth about the joy we must find in our roles as teachers.

Enrollment in Oklahoma schools increases sharply in past five years

annual enrollment 2008-2014 chart of Oklahoma Public schoolsOKLAHOMA CITY (Feb. 14, 2014) — The number of students enrolled in Oklahoma public schools has increased for the 2013-14 school year. The total enrollment of students attending public schools in pre-kindergarten through grade 12 is 681,578. That is an increase of 8,388 students from 673,190 in 2012-13 enrollment and 27,036 more than in 2009, five years ago.

Seeing the benefit of Advanced Placement

The College Board’s 2014 Advanced Placement (AP) Report to the Nation showed some encouraging signs for Oklahoma.

Among its findings, I was pleased to see that in May of last year, Oklahoma high school students achieved a score of 3 or higher on more than 13,000 AP exams. If each of these scores resulted in three college credits earned at state universities, students and their families stood to save almost $9 million in tuition.

OKTOY Blog: The Power and Influence of a Teacher

To quote Japanese music educator Shinichi Suzuki, “Teaching music is not my main purpose. I want to make good citizens. If children hear fine music from the day of their birth and learn to play it, they develop sensitivity, discipline and endurance. They get a beautiful heart.”

OKTOY Peter Markes poses with students.

OKTOY Blog: Why Music Education? | Beyond the Bubbles

 
“Music is the universal language of mankind.” -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

As we enter national Music in Our Schools Month, the National Association for Music Education is embarking on an exciting campaign called Broader Minded, which carries the slogan, “Students aren’t standardized. Think beyond the bubbles.”

February 26 Educator Currents

Last week's edition of the Educator Currents newsletter is available as a webpage. Learn about two programs in Oklahoma libraries where kids read to dogs; print off a poster about the Reading Sufficiency Act to share with parents; and find a link nominate speakers for this summer's Vision 2020 conference. Please note the deadline for Vision 2020 speaker nominations has been extended to Sunday, March 9.

As always, check out some of the upcoming competitions and professional development opportunities that have come across our desks.

Read it here:

TLE March Newsletter | Student Learning Objectives Approved

The State Board of Education approved the guidelines that district policies must follow in determining the Student Academic Growth (SAG) component of TLE evaluations for teachers and leaders of non-tested grades and subjects (NTGS).  Read the full newsletter

 

 

Time on Tests

By Janet Barresi, State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Thursday, March 13, 2013

I hear from educators and parents throughout the state about “teaching to the test” and time spent on testing. I agree teachers should spend more time teaching and students should spend less time worrying about tests.

But I want to clear up some myths.

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Last updated on December 31, 1969