Special guest, friend and colleague Mark Holben took to the mike with me on my latest show to help shed some light on the reasons and impacts of the potential planned teacher walkout set for April 2nd amongst Tulsa, OK teachers. Many make the assumption that it’s about teachers wanting a raise; this is not the case says Mark, who’s a middle school teacher in the Muskogee district.
While it’s true teachers in the Tulsa, OK region haven’t seen a cost of living increase in close to 10 years; this is just one “would be nice to have” aspect at stake. The primary focus is to restore Tulsa school funding. Last year, voters didn’t approve the latest proposed school budget; and Capital legislators have not done much to help push through long-needed funding for many basics such as new text books and basic repair needs.
Our teachers, parents and other community members who support the potential planned walkout are fighting for our children, and the future of Tulsa community. Without a properly funded school budget our campuses are missing vital services such as counselors and nurses at each school. Many of the text books are over 20 years old, and computers are in real need of being updated. Many buildings are also in need of serious work, such as leaking roofs to be repaired.
Regardless of how you feel about the local political climate around Tulsa, OK, teachers and other community members such as myself want to encourage the start of meaningful dialogues between people. Taking some time to attend school board meetings and meeting with teachers, students and parents of students is perhaps the best way to really find out and understand what’s at stake with our school system needs and the lack of a formally approved budget.
Another way to think about the impact of school funding is to think about the value of your home. Local education has a direct connection to the Tulsa economy and real estate market. With well-funded schools and growth in graduation rates for example, businesses are more likely to want to invest in a community. With company investments comes a stronger job market and economy, which in turns also adds value to our residential real estate market and better investments for Tulsa homeowners.
Listen to the full discussion in detail on our March 17th Future of Real Estate episode and make an informed decision about how you want to support our schools. For real estate questions, contact The Baskin Real Estate Specialists of eXp Realty at 918-732-9732 or darrylbaskin.com