Carter County forum addresses public education - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Carter County forum addresses public education

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ARDMORE, Okla. -- The Ardmore Chamber of Commerce hosted it's first state education forum Monday afternoon with educators from around Carter County along with state representatives.

Oklahoma is taking steps to improve public education, and raising teachers' pay last year was the first step.

Lone Grove Public Schools Superintendent Meri Jayne Miller said she has noticed her teachers are a little more excited to come to work.

"I think it's helped teachers restore a faith in the State of Oklahoma that people are behind them, that legislators are behind them," she said.

But bigger paychecks are a small part of the work that remains to be done.

Matt Holder, Deputy Superintendent of Finance and Federal Programs at the State Department of Education, addressed Monday's forum, saying teachers have a lot more issues they would like solved.

"Teachers want smaller class sizes, they need smaller class sizes," he said. "They also need professional development, and our new teachers coming in need mentorship."

Holder presented his department's budget proposal to county educators, and said he's optimistic about what's ahead.

"We're hopeful that education in general will get more funding from the state legislature in this coming session,"  he said.

Miller said she fears that Oklahoma public education could fall even further behind without additional funding.

"It's so important for our schools to stay up to date on the latest technology and also the curriculum for our students to give them the very best tools," she said.

Outside of general school funding, part of the state's education budget targeted at hiring more counselors to help students deal with certain trauma.

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