The school district in Tulsa, Okla. will upgrade its instructional technology with proceeds of $38 million of general obligation bonds approved by voters last week.
Tulsa County Independent School District No. 1 will provide teachers and students with modern technology in the “Smart and Secure” bond program that passed by a wide margin, with 9,193 in favor and 4,439 opposed.
Superintendent Keith Ballard said $31 million of the proceeds are earmarked for the technology upgrades. Each classroom will be equipped with wireless Internet access, an interactive whiteboard with speakers, and an iPad, he said.
With the new equipment, Ballard said, the district will have one computer for every three students.
The program also includes $3 million for security repairs and upgrades, and $4 million for fire sprinklers at 11 campuses.
“On behalf of the 40,000 kids who are going to school tomorrow, I want to say 'thank you,’” Ballard said after the election.
“This is absolutely a bond issue for the people in the schools.”
The new debt will require an increase in the Tulsa district’s property taxes on a $100,000 residence of $40.50 a year beginning in fall 2014.
The district, which serves most of Tulsa, is the second-largest in the state with more than 40,000 students.
The district’s GO debt is rated AA by Standard & Poor’s and Aa2 by Moody’s Investors Service. Some $162 million remains unissued from a $354 million GO authorization approved by voters in March 2010.