Tulsa Education: February 2012 Archives

Niemi_School_Board.jpgAlthough two Tulsa school board seats are expiring, only one has a contested election next Tuesday, February 14, 2012. That's in School Board Office 5, where former State Rep. Bruce Niemi faces Leigh Goodson in a contest to replace incumbent Brian Hunt, who chose not to run for re-election.

Election DIstrict 5 can be described as 11th to I-44, Yale to the Arkansas River, minus everything northwest of 21st and Utica, and minus everything southeast of 41st and Harvard, plus a bit south of I-44 between Riverside and Peoria. (Here's a map showing all of Tulsa School's election districts.)

I wish I could tell you that a conservative Republican reformer is on the ballot, but both candidates are registered Democrats. One, Niemi, is an outsider running an issue-driven campaign fueled by a lifetime of involvement in education; the other, Goodson, is an insider running a personality-driven campaign -- pretty four-color pictures and glib generalities.

Without a doubt, Bruce Niemi is a liberal, and he and I disagree not only on national issues, but on some local and school issues as well.

But Niemi is not afraid to deviate from the party line. He was a vocal and visible supporter of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, pointing out that state spending had doubled between 1992, his last year in office, and 2005, when the TABOR initiative petition was being circulated. Niemi also supports limits on eminent domain, backing a state proposal that would have expressly prohibited government from using eminent domain to transfer property to a private entity.

Often, on matters of government transparency, accountability, and openness, conservatives and liberals can be allies, working together to defeat the insiders who nominally belong to the left or the right, but whose real driving interest is working the system for their own benefit.

Bruce Niemi believes that the school board should act as the governing body of the school system, overseeing and holding the administration accountable. That seems obvious, but too often a school board serves as a rubber stamp for the current superintendent and administration. (That's when you wind up with a mess like the Skiatook school scandal.)

Niemi appreciates the importance of schools to the fabric of a neighborhood, and I trust him to ensure that whatever is done with our closed schools, like Barnard and Wilson, is respectful of the neighborhood and of the school's history.

Niemi supports the expansion of charter schools, opposes the district's wasteful lawsuits against state school choice laws, and supports the idea of the "Tim Tebow" law, which would give homeschooled children equal access to extracurriculars at their local public schools.

Last Saturday morning, Republicans gathered at precinct caucuses across Tulsa County. Precincts in House District 70 had a joint meeting at the Herman & Kate Kaiser Library in LaFortune Park. Niemi took the time to come by and to introduce himself briefly. As an active grassroots Democrat, he could appreciate the importance of these little meetings. (Goodson didn't come by, nor did she send a surrogate.)

If you live in Election District 5, I encourage you to join me in voting for Bruce Niemi next Tuesday.

MORE: Tulsa Kids profiled Bruce Niemi and Leigh Goodson in the February issue.

The Augustine Christian Academy Show Choir will be delivering singing valentines next Tuesday, February 14, 2012.


Are you looking for something unique and extra special for the ones you love this Valentine's Day? Let them be serenaded by a group of very talented singers from Augustine Christian Academy's Show Choir. Prices range from $25 - $40. We'll deliver a song, a personalized card, chocolates, and a special dedication to a location of your choice within the Tulsa area. Deliveries will be offered from 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM on February 14th. Order early to get your preferred delivery time! All orders must be received by February 13th! Get your Singing Valentine order form by CLICKING HERE, or pick one up in the school office. Please call Mrs. Gale Post at 918-852-2040 for more information.

Here's the group singing "Unforgettable" this morning on Fox 23 Daybreak:

The more you pay, the more precise you can be with the delivery time. Proceeds support the ACA performing arts program, which is producing Hello, Dolly, April 19 through 22, 2012.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Tulsa Education category from February 2012.

Tulsa Education: January 2012 is the previous archive.

Tulsa Education: August 2012 is the next archive.

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