Collinsville, Oklahoma
April 21, 2016
Miscellaneous News
Dossett: School Budget Uncertainty & National Guard /
District FFA Speech Winner /
Library Online Learning /
Track Meets Here /
Sooner Success Fundraiser

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Copyright 2016 -- Collinsville, Oklahoma
District Winner -- FFA Speech Contest
On April 19, Kaylyn Branen (middle) competed in the Northeast District FFA speech contest. She participated in the 8-9-10th grade division and placed first overall! She will be advancing to the state contest on Friday, April 22 in Stillwater at OSU. Accompanying Kaylyn was her father, Steve and FFA Advisor Mrs. Hamlin. -- April 20, 2016
Collinsville Home Track Meets in April 2016

Collinsville JH on Thursday, April 21:
Coaches meeting at 12:00
Field events at 12:30
Running at 1:00

Collinsville HS on Friday, April 22:
Coaches meeting at 1:00
Field events at 1:30
Running at 2:00

JH Metro Lakes Conference on Saturday, April 30:
Coaches meeting at 10:00
Field events at 10:30
Running at 11:00

Senate Review by Senator J.J. Dossett (April 8, 2016)
-- School Budget Uncertainty / Frustration

I know there are people that serve in the legislature who’ve had a more exposure to politics than I have. There are members who were active in party politics before running for office themselves. Some served in city government or other branches or agencies in state and even federal government.

Since I just was elected to my seat right before the session began, I fully admit even other freshmen members have one more session under their belt than I do. As I’ve said before, there’s a lot to learn, and I am more than willing to do the homework it takes to get up to speed on everything I need to know about in order to represent this district to the very best of my ability. That’s what I signed on for, and I am absolutely giving it my all—it’s challenging, but extremely interesting. However, I have to tell you as a political outsider seeing the legislative process first-hand, there are some things I find extremely frustrating.

I know by this time of year, our schools need to start planning for the coming school year, which means having, at the very least, a general idea of what their budget is going to look like. To their credit, I’ve seen school district after school district working diligently to find ways to reduce their budgets as a result of the $1.3 billion shortfall in the Fiscal Year 2017 budget year, which begins July 1. But they have no idea exactly how much of that shortfall education will have to deal with, and I’ve heard no indication as to when we may finally know exactly how much of a cut our schools can expect.

We know that the latest the legislature can meet is 5 p.m. on the last Friday in May, which means unless everybody wants to be in a special session during an election year (highly unlikely) then they had better get the budget written and passed out of both chambers by the deadline.

In fairness, until the late 1980’s, the situation was even worse. Through the 1988 session, the Legislature would convene in January and continue meeting until the start of the fiscal year, or even later. In those days, legislators might be voting on a budget bill, several hundred pages long that they’d never seen until the early morning hours of July 1. There were times when they went into session on June 30, and were still there more than 24 hours later trying to pass bills nonstop.

State agencies, including schools, had no time to prepare for whatever budget adjustments they needed to make before the start of the new fiscal year. Since voters amended the Oklahoma Constitution in 1989, the session always begins on the first Monday in February and must end by 5 p.m. on the last Friday in May. That gives all agencies receiving state funds at least a month to go over their budgets and plan accordingly.

I’d say that part of the process is better than it was, but I still think our schools need more time to know what they are facing—especially in a year like this. I sincerely hope those in power in each chamber and the governor will come to an agreement soon, at least about the education appropriation, so our local school boards and administrators can make informed decisions based on real numbers.

I welcome your comments on state government and the issues before us. Please feel free to contact me by writing to Senator J.J. Dossett at the State Capitol, Room 521-A, Oklahoma City, OK, 73105; call me at (405) 521-5566.

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-- Robin Bushyhead (April 14, 2016)
Teen Library Associate
Collinsville Library
Preliminary FFA Speech Competition
Julie Branen, Laney Branen, and Kaylyn Branen competed in the Tulsa PI speech contest on April 12th. Kaylyn placed third in her division and will compete in a speakoff at NEO on April 19th to determine if she advances to the district competition. -- Jennifer Hamlin 4/15/2016
Fundraiser Supports Special Needs Kids
Sooner Success (4/18/2016):

My name is Tonda Ames and I work for Sooner Success. We are a free information and referral program for families with special needs kids. I work from my home near Collinsville and I cover Rogers and Tulsa counties. Our son went to Collinsville PS. I also personally know several of the administrators and teachers – just to let you know I’m connected with the community.

Would it be possible to post the fundraising flyer on the CPS website? Sooner Success provides services to parents and schools within Tulsa and Rogers county. So any money raised will stay in Rogers and Tulsa counties for programs and services.

Thank you for any help you can provide in spreading the word about this fundraising event.

Tonda Ames, MS, APR
Tulsa and Rogers County Coordinator
Sooner SUCCESS Program
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center


Toll Free Referral Number: 877-441-0434

(pdf - brochure)
Senate Review by Senator J.J. Dossett (April 15, 2016)
-- Oklahoma National Guard

I’ve certainly made no secret of the fact that my top priority in the Legislature is education, and my approach to policy and to the budget is filtered through my experience as a classroom teacher.

But many of you know I sometimes wear another hat, so to speak. I’m a technical sergeant in the Oklahoma Air National Guard, and I’ve served two active duty deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. I’d say that was the experience I was drawing on and thinking about as we met in a special joint session this past week in the House Chamber.

I learned that each year, the House and Senate meet in joint session to honor former members of the 45th Infantry Division, also known as the Thunderbird Division, as well as the current members of the Oklahoma National Guard. This is the 28th year the Legislature has honored these Oklahomans, and I have to tell you, it was a very well done and extremely powerful ceremony.

The 9000 men and women who serve in the Oklahoma National Guard come from all walks of life and every part of our state. Our troops are ready to be deployed when our nation needs us, wherever we are needed, to defend our country, and our freedom. Since the events of September 11, 2001, 19 Oklahoma Guard members made the supreme sacrifice.

But serving in the guard means you are also ready to respond in times of disaster here at home. The Oklahoma National Guard was among the first responders when the Murrah Federal Building was bombed on April 19th, 1995. They’ve been deployed to communities throughout the state during ice storms, blizzards, floods, tornadoes and wildfires, helping protect life and property.

During the ceremony, five of our citizen soldiers were honored for their exemplary service, including two soldiers, who, along with other members of their unit, had just finished marching in the Oklahoma State University Homecoming parade last October when a driver crashed into the crowd, killing four people and injuring dozens more. Thanks to their military training and experience, they quickly sprang into action, giving aid and comfort to the injured and helping secure the scene.

There is much that can divide us when it comes to politics, yet there are things that undeniably unite us as well. I saw that first-hand as we paused this past week to honor the men and women who have served and continue to serve in the Oklahoma National Guard. I am proud of the legacy of the Guard, proud of my fellow soldiers, and grateful the Legislature has a tradition of honoring their service.

I welcome your comments on state government and the issues before us. Please feel free to contact me by writing to Senator J.J. Dossett at the State Capitol, Room 521-A, Oklahoma City, OK, 73105; call me at (405) 521-5566.