Outrage sparks after schools are denied early funds
MOORE, OK – Some teachers in Moore are outraged after the State Superintendent of Schools, Janet Barresi, said the school district cannot get its allocation money early this year.
Teachers realize they have to go from flattened schools that are now just a slab of concrete to brand new classrooms on Aug. 16th, and they worry the money to help them do that won’t be made available in time.
“It’s very daunting and overwhelming for our teachers to think about what they have to do to replace that,” said Jill Dudley.
Dudley is the President of the Moore Association of Classroom Teachers.
She says while teachers worry about replacing books and learning materials, the district set up two new school locations.
School leaders looked to state Superintendent Barresi to help.
“Barresi had said anything that we need just ask, the state department was our office now and to think big and to email her with any needs we might have,” said Dudley.
Thinking big, the Moore Superintendent asked Barresi for the district’s annual allotment early. The allocation is roughly $60 million that could be used now as the school year approaches.
However, Barresi says, state law won’t allow her to give general money a month in advance.
“I ran into that barrier of funding only going out on an 11 month basis. I went looking for ways we can cut through red tape,” said Baressi.
Barresi says she found that the Director of the Department of Emergency Management, Albert Ashwood, can get money to Moore schools this summer.
“They are going to go over what their costs are and what their insurance covers, and he says he is going to be able to get that money to them,” said Barresi.
When News Channel Four checked that out with the Department of Emergency Management, reporters were told getting that money to Moore could take some time.
The director will have to talk with school officials about their expenses and figure out what assistance they qualify for before cutting a check.
“I’m only speaking my opinion as a teacher, and I personally am very disapoointed that as a state elected official that she would stand up here stand in front of us, tell us those things and when put to the test, it doesn’t happen,” said Dudley.
Barresi says everything should come together for the school district. She says with insurance, FEMA and rainy day funds, the schools shouldn’t need their allocation money early.
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