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Newspaper Archive of
The Perkins Journal
Perkins, Oklahoma
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March 27, 2014     The Perkins Journal
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March 27, 2014
 

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A4 - THE PERKINS JOURNAL, Thursday, March 27, 2014 Op* * lnlOnS It's About The Children March 31, has been set aside for the Education Rally at the Oklahoma State Capitol. The purpose of this rally is to call attention to the decrease in funding for the students of the state of Oklahoma. The per-student funding from the state has decreased 7.4% since 2008. Yet, during this time, Perkins schools have had a 6.3% increase in its student population. The Perkins-Tryon District has made necessary cuts in all areas of its operations. One of the most dire needs at this time is the replace- ment of textbooks, as the district has foregone textbook adoptions for the past four years. Many of the textbooks are now unserviceable, having been repaired and rebound numerous times. Some students are given photocopied materials because there are no useable textbooks avail- able for them. Most of the textbook contents are not up- to-date for the state testing material. It will now cost the district more than $400,000 to update our textbooks for core courses only. Classroom supplies for students and teachers are mini- mal. Most supplies are donated from outside organizations or are supplied from the teachers' own salaries. Several teachers and staff do individual fundraising to cover costs. Libraries and music must rely on only fundraisers for financial support. Athletics must also be self-supported. The district spent $8000 for software licensing in 2008. The licensing costs for 2013-14 are $21,000. There is no state funding for these costs. Also, state testing requires Windows 7. This will cost an additional $30,000 to upgrade high school laptop computers to meet testing requirements. .... The decrease in state funding per student over the last several years has made the district unable to allocate monies for several important functions in our schools: No funding for our school libraries No funding for our school music program No funding for our science labs No funding for our athletics ; No middle school in-school detention Minimal classroom supplies Reduced custodial services yet expanded building square footage Minimal repairs to buildings and heating/ air units 0 No teacher salary increases in seven years Utilities and transportation costs for the district continue to increase. The district has increased its square footage b'y 60,000 since 2008 but has reduced custodial staff. The March 31 rally is not limited to educators, it is for aii Oklahomans who are interested in the education of our children. Please join us in asking our state government to adequately fund our students' education, either by your presence on March 31 or by contacting our legislators. Cara Brun, President P- T Education Association Make Your Concerns Known You are more than likely aware by now that there will be no school for P-T students on Monday, March 31. The staff of our school district will be traveling to Oklahoma City where we will be participating with thousands of other Oklahoma education professionals in the Oklahoma Rally for Education, which is being sponsored by the TO SUBSCRIBE BY MAIL, fill out this form and mail with :::=: ............. remittance to: The Perkins Journal, P.O. Bo x 667, iii!ii: Perkins, OK 74059-0667 |iiii Name :! ::;ill!i] Address li !i!:ii i iii:?: /ii:! Stale Zip fi:ii iii'iii ! Rates: One year in Oklahoma.. =30 |iii!i::ii :i!:;i:i: One year out of state ...... $35 ,,i:: 00iilzi00:] BE A FRIEND, BUY A FRIEND a subscription and deduct $41 i:i:: offoftherateslistedaboveifyouareacurrentpaidsubscriber. :!!!ii .............. ::::::::;iii:i:i;iiii| Usetheform aboveforyour'end" andtistyour name here: [!iii!i Oklahoma Education Coalition. The Perkins-Tryon School District along with all of the other state's public schools are facing a financial crisis which has been building for several years and began after 2009. In fiscal year 2009, the peak year in public education funding, the state Board of Education received about $2.53 billion for state public school operation. In the current fiscal year 2014, that number is closer to $2.3 billion, a decrease of more than $200 million. As the state legisla- ture has systematically reduced the appropriations over the past several years, the number of students attending public schools has increased by over 30,000. How has this affected the Perkins-Tryon District? In FY 2009, our state allocation was almost $4.4 million, and we had a student population of 1,364. This year in FY 2014, our allocation is slightly under $4.0 million and we cur- rently serve 1,465 students. You can see that your local school district is now serving right at 100 more students while receiving almost $400,000 less to educate them. Our district superintendent has done an amazing job of protecting the classroom as he has figured out how to pay ever increasing utility, insurance, fuel and other opera- tional costs with less money. He has eliminated support staff positions by combining positions. Departments such as the school libraries, the band program, athletics, and technology, just to name a few, have had their budgets zeroed out. School sites which in good years were given a budget for office and teacher supplies have had their budgets reduced by up to 90%. We have reached the point where there is nothing expendable left to cut and now have to begin eliminating teacher positions. For your information, our elementary school will be;ducing two positions for the 14-15 school year. Our message to the legislators on March 31 is: Education has been cut beyond the bone, and it is time to make up the deficit and move on beyond. From FY 2008 to current, Oklahoma s spen per student has reduced over 22%; we ad the list o?all 50 states in this category. Continuing to reduce taxes is a fiscally irresponsible act; a budget deficit has already been forecast for FY 2015. What is the rationale behind continuing to reduce taxes? We have been told for years that cutting taxes was going to stimulate our economy. Why is it that we continue to experience budget deficits? We need them to support legislation that restores education funding and find revenue streams to make it possible. It is past time to improve salaries for the people who work in our schools. Our teachers are spending hundreds of dollars each month out of their own pockets to support the instruction in their classroom because the schools do not have funds to do it. This is not right. Let the gross production tax incentives expire. We are losing and have been losing for years millions of dollars of revenue to the oil companies that could help to adequately fund school budgets and teacher salaries. If this is important to you, and we hope it is, welixwite you t join Us a t the Oklalioma Rally for Educ/ton which kicks off on. the S0uth side !of the capit0t/huild- ing on Monday, March 3I, at !0:30 AM, Free parking and shuttles will be available at Remington Park and the Tinseltown Theater. We will be visiting our legislators and sharing our concerns with them following the rally. If you cannot attend, we ask that you make a contact with our legislative representatives by phone or email. Rep. Lee Denney can be reached at 405-557-7304 or Jeedenney@okhouse.go v. Rep. Jason Smalley can be reached at 405-557-7368 or jason.smalley@okhouse.gov. Sen. James Halligan can be reached at 405-521-5572 or halligan@oksenate.gov. Yours for the best possible public education for our students. Bobby Simma P- T Elementary Principal 0000i00!i!iii!i'!:iii!ii!!;ii!00"ii By Cecil Acu. Zachary Taylor, 1849-1850. Taylor was the only life-long professional soldier to be elected President of the United States. Other presidents were professional military men, but not for their entire careers. Taylor, with the exception of a few months, was an active front-line officer for forty years. Yet, he was never a typical officer. He seldom wore his uniform, preferring the home-spun clothes commonly worn by farmers and frontier people. Taylor's appearance was not considered to be "mili- tary." He had a squat body, long arms, and short bowed legs. One observer said Taylor looked like a frog on a horse. Zachary hated the military's penchant for pomp and ceremony, and was as unpretentious as he was unas- suming. Many times young soldiers mistook the high-ranking officer for a farmer. Once when Taylor was Commander of Fort Smith, he met two young second Lieutenants just out of West Point, basking in their importance. Taylor looked like an old farmer; "Good Morning, old fellow[" Taylor returned their greeting, "How's crops?" The two West Pointers invited Taylor to have a drink. Though Taylor didn't drink, he joined them for a chat. Later, as he left the young dandies, one said, "Give our love to the old woman and the gals." Next, the fully- dressed Lieutenants went to pay their respects to their new Commandant. Much to their amazement, they found him to be the old farmer they had teased earlier. Taylor returned their salutes, and introduced his wife and daughter, "Here are are the old woman and gal." Taylor was born November 24, 1784, in Orange County, Virginia, the third son of Richard Taylor, a prosperous farmer and Revolutionary War Veteran. He was a second cousin to James Madison, America's Fourth president. Richard Taylor was granted land for his Revolutionary War service in 1785, moving his family to West Virginia. Eventually, the elderTaylor built an estate of over i0,000 acres, becoming a local political leader. The Taylor plantation was near a crek close to Indian territory. Thus Taylor grew up with the constant threat of Indian attacks trying to stop the steady advance of white settlement. The family lived in a small one-room cabin at first.This was later replaced by a spacious brick two-story home painted white, one of the finest homes in the area. much of the work was done by slaves. So, Taylor lived on the frontier suffering the dangers and hardships inherent in that life. He also led one of the most privileged lives in the area. Zachary's formal education was meagre, consisting of tutoring by his parents and two itinerate teachers. This wasn't unusual for that era, but it caused Taylor to be a poor writer and speller the rest of his life. Most of his life was not spent in the pursuit of knowledge, it was working on the farm, fishing and hunting. In 1808, President Thomas Jefferson decided to expand the small U.S. Army in response to British attacks on American shipping and the impressment of American citizens. So, it's not surprising that, knowing the military experiences of his father and brothers, the twenty-three year-old Zachary sought an Army commission. With the help of his cousin, James Madison, Taylor received an appointment as a Second Lieutenant in The Seventh Infantry Regiment. West Point Military opened in 1802, but Taylor didn't seek admission. He would surely have been denied with his lack of education and poor eyesight. Zachary Taylor, 26 years old, married Margaret Smith, 23 years old, on June 1, 1810. "Peggy" came from a wealthy Maryland family; their marriage was a happy one, producing three daughters and a son. Peggy accompanied her husband on his assignments to various military posts, enduring the same severe hardships and dangers as the soldiers. The next several years of Zachary Taylor's life was spent at various Army posts: Indiana, Fort Knox, Fort Harrison, New Orleans, Kentucky, Washington D.C., Minnesota, Florida, Louisiana, and Arkansas. At some of these places, Taylor suffered from Yellow Fever, Malaria, and, of course, mosquitos. Taylor was promoted to Major because of his work at Fort Harrison, staying in Indiana Territory through 1815, combatting Indians. He became gruntled by what he perceived to be political favoritism in promotions, he resigned his position, and became a farmer! His father had given Peggy arid Zachary land near Louisville as a wedding gift; the couple turned to raising corn, tobacco, grain, and livestock. Taylor enjoyed this, but in the spring of 1816, he traded his plow for a rifle. He became a Major in the Third ,Infantry, "back in the saddle again." ',,,. Taylor, Peggy and their four daughters stayed near Baton Rouge in the spring of 1820, near the)home of Peggy's See AUFF, Page A6