The Grand View School RoboChargers competed at their second robotics tournament on Jan. 30 at Keys Elementary School.
The teams experienced success, with one team ranking second in its division and almost qualifying to compete in the final rounds. The first-year teams worked successfully under pressure through the engineering process.
The Cherokee Nation Foundation donated two VEX IQ sets, which will enable Grand View to have a younger team of fifth- and sixth-graders. Cherokee Data Solutions donated a $250 scholarship for parts to the RoboChargers. This will help the team buy new parts when the game for 2016-2017 is revealed in April.
The team has also received support and instruction from Sequoyah High School, Northeastern State University, Tahlequah Public Schools, and others.
Concern over Grand View School’s possible closure brought about 100 parents and staff to hear Derald Glover, Fort Gibson Schools superintendent, speak Thursday night about funding and the future of rural schools.
Grand View also hosted the Do Your Best Parent University, with several community service providers and educational representatives set up at tables around the room.
Ideas for supporting the school, encouragement to contact legislators, and the financial impact schools will experience due to budget cuts were shared by Glover. He pointed out oil drives the economy in Oklahoma.
“Income tax is our most stable revenue,” he said.
Glover explained tax cuts since 2005 have cut the state’s revenue by about $3 billion, with the average tax payer receiving about $19 a month in return, while oil and gas industries have received more than $200 million in tax incentives since 2008.
He asked students in the audience if they would like a four-day week and got a positive response.
“Will a four-day week save money? I’ve put the pencil to paper, and it doesn’t save enough to make it worthwhile,” said Glover. “Ask your legislators to make education a priority in actions. Tell them you can’t support them if they can’t.”
Two seats are coming open due to term limits: those held by Sen. Earl Garrison and Rep. Mike Brown.
“Put someone in there who will make your child’s education a priority. Tell [him] – and I mean the people running for election, ‘If you won’t fight for us, we’ll get someone in there who will,’” he said. “We are the top state in the nation in education cuts.”