Board of Education

Bartlett grants highlight January Board of Education Meeting

Aaron McColloch
Sapulpa Public Schools

(SPS) — The first meeting of the Sapulpa School Board of Education in 2021 was highlighted by recognitions, approval of the Bartlett Foundation grants, and a mid-year financial update.

January’s Board of Education Meeting. Photo from sapulpaps.org

January is School Board Recognition Month and Superintendent Rob Armstrong took a few minutes at the outset to thank the board members for their service to their community.

“You’re charged with making critical decisions that affect our students and oversee millions in educational expenditures,” said Supt. Armstrong. “I would like to let you know that the work you do does not go unnoticed and that we appreciate your commitment to our schools.”

The recognitions didn’t stop there. Members of the Sapulpa Chieftain Volleyball and Sapulpa Chieftains Cross Country athletic programs joined the meeting to be honored for advancing to the state championships in their respective sports.

By unanimous vote, the Consent Agenda was quickly approved before moving on to Action Items.

The board approved the generous donation of $146,022 from the Edward E. and Helen Turner Bartlett Foundation.

“This is a continuation of the long line of donations and support,” said Supt. Armstrong of the Bartlett Foundation. “We are incredibly grateful for the Foundation’s generosity and support of our students and teachers here in Sapulpa.”

The money will be used for the following programs across the district.

  • Botball/Robotics
  • Art
  • Speech, Debate, Theatre
  • Band
  • JROTC
  • Vocal Music
  • Kid’s Kloset

During Superintendent Comments, Mr. Armstrong provided an update on district finances. The State Department of Education released its Midyear State Aid Allocation earlier this week which resulted in a $729,100 decrease in the district’s coffers. Sapulpa Public Schools was one of the approximately 80 percent of districts to lose money at midterm.

“We knew it would happen, we just didn’t know how deep,” said Supt. Armstrong of the revenue loss. “It really is disappointing, and disheartening, for our students and staff.”

In late December, the federal government issued relief for the second time during the coronavirus pandemic. The school district is projected to receive $2,504,322 courtesy of the CARES ACT II stimulus. That money will be earmarked for salaries and benefits.

The next meeting of the Sapulpa School Board of Education is Feb. 8, 2021.