Tulsa Public Schools partners with Community Action Project of Tulsa County in bid for federal grant to help youths in two distressed neighborhoods
BY ANDREA EGER World Staff Writer
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
7/17/12 at 7:41 AM
Tulsa Public Schools signed on Monday as a partner in the Community Action Project of Tulsa County's bid for a federal grant to improve educational and developmental outcomes for youths in two of the city's most distressed neighborhoods.
The memorandum of understanding approved by the Tulsa school board means the district would provide longitudinal data about students in and around Eugene Field and Kendall-Whittier elementary schools and would collaborate with national and local partners on reform strategies, said Talia Shaull, executive director of the district's Teacher and Leadership Effectiveness Initiative.
"We would be sharing data available and tracking outcomes for those students and get help from two national partners with research-based practices that have worked in other cities in the past but which we haven't had access to because of lack of funding," Shaull said.
CAPTC is seeking up to $7 million in a Promise Neighborhoods grant to build a continuum of "cradle-to-career" services for children in the two neighborhoods, which also include the areas around Sequoyah Elementary School, Clinton Middle School, Webster High School and Rogers Early College Junior High and High School.
According to the U.S. Department of Education's website, the Community Action Project's other partners in planning the endeavor include the Oklahoma Department of Education, the University of Tulsa, the University of Oklahoma School of Community Medicine, Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences, Community Health Connection, Community Service Council of Greater Tulsa, Tulsa Educare and Crosstown Learning Center.
"The idea is to enhance what is already being done and take a comprehensive approach to neighborhood revitalization, and (kindergarten through 12th-grade) education is a huge component of that," Shaull said.
Board member Lana Turner-Addison, who represents much of north Tulsa, said she was concerned that the Promise Neighborhoods initiative could take priority over other parts of the city where the need for educational reform is "as great or greater."
Superintendent Keith Ballard responded that if the grant is awarded to Tulsa, the school district would place the same priority on those schools that it does with various sites with federal School Improvement Grants and those in north Tulsa being targeted as an "Academic Achievement Zone," which is still under development.
"I am recommending this because I see it as an opportunity to leverage some private and local funds with federal funds," Ballard said. "It doesn't designate any of those three as more important. They are all important."
Ultimately, board member Lois Jacobs cast the only "no" vote on the memorandum of understanding with CAPTC.
In other business, former Tulsa County Commissioner Wilbert Collins was sworn into office to serve out the remaining six months of the unexpired term of former school board member Oma Jean Copeland, who cited health problems in resigning.
Also, the board approved increases of 5 to 10 cents for school lunches because of increases in the cost of food, paper and other supplies. That means that in 2012-13, elementary school students will pay $1.95, and middle school, junior high and high school students will pay $2.45.
Original Print Headline: TPS partners with group in bid for grant to help kids
Andrea Eger 918-581-8470