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Education, training key to development, employment

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Lawton Fires Patriots is a subgroup of the Lawton Fort Sill Chamber of Commerce dedicated to support the missions of Fort Sill. This is the third in a series of articles submitted by members of the Fires Patriots explaining their five-year strategy.

Ensuring that a quality education is provided for all area students in common education, career technology and higher education is vital to achieving short-term and long-range business development goals and in having the workforce requirements needed for success. This includes all teachers having the necessary skills development and in having excellent curriculum opportunities with a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

• Lawton has been recognized by the Oklahoma Legislature for excellence in STEM education opportunities within Lawton Public Schools (LPS). LPS had both the National STEM High School of the Year and the National STEM Teacher of the Year. Continued efforts need to be made focused on generating much needed public and private funding to maintain and expand STEM curriculum at all levels of education from elementary to graduate schools.

• We will continue to work with the National Federal Impact Aid Association to bring funding to current years as well as work to modify Impact Aid formulas which do not favor Oklahoma schools.

• Improve ACT/SAT outcomes thereby significantly reducing the number of students required to take remedial course work when entering higher education.

• Support Cameron University in developing a four-year engineering program.

• Support Great Plains Technology Center in expanding engineering, robotics and UAS capabilities.

• Develop and implement a long-term strategic plan to improve the infrastructure of our public schools, both interior and exterior. Improvement must include sustainment, repair and maintenance and modernization of major components of the facilities such as heating and ventilation, roofs, bathroom facilities and major electrical and plumbing components.

The Lawton Constitution

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