Fallin To Discuss School Shelter Issue In Upcoming Session - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Fallin To Discuss School Shelter Issue In Upcoming Session

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Governor Mary Fallin expressed her concerns for school safety at a press conference on Wednesday, and her plan pays for the shelters in a much different way than other plans. Governor Mary Fallin expressed her concerns for school safety at a press conference on Wednesday, and her plan pays for the shelters in a much different way than other plans.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Governor Mary Fallin expressed her concerns for school safety at a press conference on Wednesday, and her plan pays for the shelters in a much different way than other plans.

"What can we do better? What can we do different to help protect our children," asked Fallin.

That's the question that's been on Fallin's and other legislators minds for nearly eight months. Now the governor has announced a plan for the state government to facilitate a decision made by local districts.

"School districts will ask their local citizens...communities to finance the bonds," said Fallin.

The plan calls for a constitutional amendment allowing every school district to pursue a one-time increase in bonding capacity to fund upgrades like storm shelters and safe rooms.

"It is a responsible way and an effective way and passes on the principal of local controls for our schools," said Fallin.

Nearly 1,100 schools in the state are currently without shelters and Fallin believes putting shelters in each of those schools would cost more than $770 million.

"She called on the citizens of the state to fund shelters through a tax increase," said Rep. Joe Dorman.

Dorman supports a plan by Take Shelter Oklahoma. He wants to create a 75-25 payment, 75% from the state's franchise tax and 25% from the district.

"We'll provide a suitable alternative to schools to build shelters without raising property taxes," said Dorman.

So Dorman set forth a challenge to the governor.

"Support both resolutions, fast track them, get them to the vote of the people and let the citizens decide," said Dorman.

The Governor's plan also  calls for Oklahoma Emergency Management to voluntary assess school for other possible safety upgrades, such as bullet proof windows.

The bond capacity amendment is clarified in a bill authored by Representatives McBride and Echols. If passed it could be up for public vote in November.

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