By: [Tulsa] World’s Editorial Writers
Hats off to the Tulsa Community Foundation and so many other organizations that are pitching in to provide supplies to students and teachers before the start of school later this month. Too bad the Legislature wasn’t similarly generous with funding of public education last session. Maybe if it had been, many teachers throughout the state wouldn’t be struggling to meet the needs of the 30-plus students in their classrooms.
The supplies, of course, cannot compensate for crowded classrooms and the thinning of the teacher ranks, but materials will help students have the basic supplies they need to start the learning process.
Thanks to the foundation’s generosity over the past 17 years, more than 260,000 students have benefited from the supplies program.
According to a story this week by Sara Plummer, one of the Tulsa World’s education reporters, the foundation operates PASS, Partnership for the Availability of School Supplies, which provides free school supplies for every student at 52 elementary schools in Tulsa Public and Union school districts. Elementary schools where at least 75 percent of the students qualify for the free or reduced-price lunch program receive PASS supplies.
A number of other area groups are pitching in with supplies, including Restore Hope Ministries, which lives up to its name through its collection and distribution of school supplies. Last year about 2,600 people received free school supplies during a two-day Restore Hope event.
The community’s generosity in helping students and teachers get a good start by being adequately equipped cannot make up for the inexcusable parsimony of the Legislature and the lip service state Superintendent of Instruction Janet Barresi gives to schools. But at least this community support shows yet again that some people and some institutions have their priorities straight.
Read more from this Tulsa World article at http://www.tulsaworld.com/opinion/article.aspx?subjectid=61&articleid=20120802_61_A18_Hatsof149150&r=4082