Parents, educators and students prepare for education rally

Parents, educators and students prepare for education rally

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

Busloads of parents, teachers and students are expected to fill the state Capitol grounds Monday morning in support of education reform in Oklahoma.

The rally has been planned for weeks and attendees are using the event to voice support of more funding for quality education in the state.

While the rally may not bring immediate change, it's a start for school districts like Norman Public Schools that plan on showing up Monday to voice their concerns. Norman Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Joe Siano says 2014 marks the fifth consecutive year the state has cut funding for students.

"You can do reform by policy, but you can't do quality reform and implementation without the resources that go with it. I think that's what the rally is about," Siano said.

Siano says if the district receives another reduced appropriation his district may have to cut programs and jobs next year.

"If you want to really improve schools it's about the long term and not the short term. Short term is important but infusion is also important when you are $6 million down," Siano said.

Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs CEO Dave Bond is not convinced a sudden infusion of money would do anything for Oklahoma's students.

"Over the last 40 years, Oklahoma education spending has increased by hundreds of millions, actually billions of dollars, and student test scores have remained flat since 1972," Bond said.

Bond also has questions about what district's are doing to aid teachers, parents and students in their effort to get to Monday's rally.

Edmond Public Schools is allowing teachers to take a personal day and parents in the district have rented buses to get to the rally.

Tahlequah Public Schools have canceled school for the rally day.

Rep. Joe Dorman plans to speak at Monday's rally and says it is important for those who care about education in Oklahoma to take a stand.

"The more money that we put in right now means the less we will have to spend on corrections and other problems down the road." Dorman said.

The rally is planned for 10:30 a.m. Monday at the state Capitol.

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