President Pro Tempore
Sen. Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City
State Capitol Room 422
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: August 18, 2009
Sen. Glenn Coffee
GATES FOUNDATION DECLINES FUNDING FOR TULSA
COFFEE CALLS IT ‘WAKE UP CALL’ FOR
After the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced that Tulsa
Public Schools had been removed from consideration for a $50 Million
grant, Senate President Pro Tem Glenn
Coffee noted another victory for the “defenders of the
status quo,” and called the announcement a “wake up
call for education reform in Oklahoma.”
“The Gates Foundation has determined, following years of
research, that the road map to better results and outcomes in education
center around such measurables as performance pay for teachers,”
Coffee said. “Unfortunately, the advocates of the status quo
and agents of the past have stood in the way of reform in Oklahoma,
and they cost our students a cool $50 million in tax-free dollars
“If these obstacles of progress had rallied behind the reform
movement and supported real initiatives to move our education system
forward, we might not be where we stand today,” he continued.
“Even the federal Department of Education, under the leadership
of Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, understands the importance
of these reforms, with its Race to the Top program, which provides
competitive grants to encourage and reward states that are creating
the conditions for education innovation and reform.
“I vow that we will not be stifled again in our efforts to
enact the change our students deserve and thriving states embrace,”
Coffee added. “We had a prime opportunity to lead the “race
to the top” in educating our children, yet obstructionists
are keeping a stranglehold on our progress.
“In the next legislative session, we will revisit the reforms
being advanced across the nation by leaders of both parties —
performance pay, empowering local school districts and families
and providing choice and accountability.
”We can’t let another opportunity like this slip from
our grasp,” Coffee concluded.
For more information contact:
Sen. Coffee: 405-521-5636