LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- Lawton Public Schools is purchasing thousands of new textbooks in several subject areas for the next school year. The textbooks will cost the district $4 million out of their yearly budget. Part of that money is also coming from the 2014 bond initiative and general funds.
"Graduation for all three high schools is this week," said Deanna Burkey, Lawton High School teacher. "These students have never had a new math textbook ever. They started in kindergarten and they didn't have them, and they have just moved through and never had a new textbook."
Burkey has been teaching at Lawton Public Schools for twelve years. She said the lack of textbooks has been an issue for several years.
"Matter of fact in my classroom we have not even used books in the last five years," she said. "We just made our own materials and done it that way. We haven't had a textbook on hand."
Teachers like Burkey were invited to view samples and select textbooks in subjects including math, science, and social studies for the year.
Now students will receive over 14-thousand new textbooks and online materials.
"And I know the students are super excited along with the teachers to have something new in their hands rather than an old textbook that they are having to tape together, put together and figure out which page is missing," said Margaret Ploof, Grant Facilitator.
Superintendent Tom Deighan said he credits the state of Oklahoma and teachers like Burkey that rallied for change in the teacher walkout in April.
He said their work will bring new material to students this year and years to come.
"For the work they did in advocacy this year," he said. "Because next year our state textbook funding has been restored to some of the textbook funds will come from that as well."
Burkey said the new books show the importance of education and a new start for LPS graduates. While Deighan said he's also looking forward to the future.
"This will be the last year we will have to say that," said Burkey. "For now, on our students will be able to say 'yes I've had the best, yes I had a new textbook."
"I just can't imagine, and I can't wait to see what our students and our staff will accomplish once they have the proper learning materials in front of them," said Deighan.
Last year the district adopted language arts books for students. After this year they will have new textbooks for English language arts, math, science and social studies for grades K-12.