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Improve Student Outcomes

An excellent education system is the foundation of a healthy and thriving city.

By Monroe Nichols


A strong education system is the foundation of a thriving community and is the pathway to economic mobility for students. As a candidate for Tulsa Mayor, I bring a unique perspective and commitment to transforming our city's approach to education. I recognize that the challenges facing our schools are not just school issues but are indicative of broader systemic problems that require collaborative, community-driven solutions.


We will work across systems engaging child care providers, early childhood education programs, school districts, postsecondary institutions, foundations, community organizations and faith based organizations all focused on delivering for Tulsa children. 

For too long, Tulsa's education system has grappled with disparities that leave many of our children behind, particularly those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Tulsa’s education equality score of 48 out of 100, thousands of Tulsa kids are in families facing eviction, homelessness and generational poverty. These issues are impacting attendance rates driving outcomes in Tulsa including our reading proficiency gap and low math proficiency among 8th graders.


My vision for Tulsa's education system is clear: regardless of socio-economic status, every child deserves access to a high-quality education that prepares them for a successful future. This vision is grounded in the belief that education is the most powerful tool for economic mobility and a sustained high quality of life for all citizens.





To achieve this, I propose a holistic approach that begins with creating the Mayor’s Office of Children, Youth, and Families. This office will spearhead initiatives to close the achievement gap and foster a pathway for Tulsa families that starts when a child is born and continues throughout their time in our schools. Together, in Tulsa, we will work across systems engaging child care providers, early childhood education programs, school districts, postsecondary institutions, foundations, community organizations and faith based organizations all focused on delivering for Tulsa children. 


I am the only candidate in this race committed to investing in proven programs and creating partnerships that enhance our educational landscape. From improving data systems for better outcomes to establishing a Teach in Tulsa Fund to attract and retain qualified educators and incentivize them to teach in our schools and classrooms where we need them the most. My plan addresses the critical needs of our students and teachers. Additionally, by leveraging our city's parks and facilities for out-of-school programming, we can provide enriching experiences that complement traditional learning.


My record as a state representative demonstrates unwavering support for initiatives that advance educational equity and excellence. I bring a wealth of experience in public service, community engagement, and policy development that uniquely qualifies me to lead Tulsa into a new era of educational prosperity.


An excellent education system is the foundation of a healthy and thriving city. As Tulsa's next mayor, I am committed to making our city a beacon of educational innovation and opportunity. I envision a Tulsa where every child can achieve their dreams and zip codes or family income no longer dictates a child's outcomes. We can redefine what's possible in education and set our city on a path toward a brighter, more equitable future.


I invite you to join me in this critical endeavor, for the sake of our children and the future of Tulsa.


BOTTOM LINE GOALS

  • Put Tulsa families on a pathway to economic mobility from the time children enter school.

  • Ensure access to high-quality child care and early childhood education.

  • Support well-functioning school boards and local control of public schools.

  • Invest in the best educators.

  • Increase housing stability for students.

  • Improve mental health outcomes for children and families


WHY IT MATTERS

  • Tulsa scores a 48 out of 100 in education equality

  • Economically disadvantaged children are three times less likely to read on grade level.

  • Emergency certified teachers represent a share at Tulsa Public Schools that is nearly six times larger than other districts in the county.

  • Tulsa is home to the largest public school district in the state.

  • Chronic absenteeism is a primary driver of student outcomes.

  • The study by the Economic Policy Institute in 2021 found that Oklahoma teachers have one of the largest pay disparities in the country when compared to workers with similar jobs. On average,

  • Oklahoma teachers are paid more than 30 percent less than their college-educated counterparts.

  • A total of 3,000 students (approximately 2% on average each year) in Tulsa Public Schools experience an eviction filing - and it’s even higher for our youngest students and students of color.

  • Five percent of both pre-K and kindergarten students have experienced an eviction filing; 50% of these students were chronically absent one month after the filing; 71% were chronically absent one year after the filing.


HOW TO ACHIEVE THESE GOALS

  • Create the Mayor’s Office of Children, Youth and Families and appoint a Children’s Cabinet.

  • Build a strong and supportive relationship with all school districts within the city of Tulsa.

  • Launch the Teach in Tulsa Fund to put the best teachers in our highest-need classrooms across the city.

  • Invest in data systems and data sharing to provide real-time information.

  • Develop new partnerships that allow nonprofit organizations that provide out-of-school activities and school programming to operate in city facilities.

  • Increase Tulsa’s affordable housing stock and cut Tulsa’s eviction rate.





 

  1. The Impact of Eviction on TPS Students Data Memo for Housing Stability Coalition | January 17, 2024 Dr. Delia Kimbrell, Head of Research and Data Strategy Dr. Courtney Cullison, Director of Policy

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