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Lawton Public Schools elections (2014)

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2014 Lawton Public Schools Elections

General Election date:
February 11, 2014
Table of Contents
About the district
Method of election
What was at stake?
Key deadlines
Additional elections
External links
See also
Lawton Public Schools
Comanche County, Oklahoma ballot measures
Local ballot measures, Oklahoma
Flag of Oklahoma.png

One seat on the Lawton Public Schools school board was up for general election on February 11, 2014. One significant issue in the election was the district's adoption of Common Core, which candidate Bob Brown criticized. Lori Bridges defeated fellow newcomer Brown for the Area 4 seat.

About the district

See also: Lawton Public Schools, Oklahoma
Lawton Public Schools is located in Comanche County, Oklahoma
Lawton Public Schools is located in Comanche County, Oklahoma. The county seat of Comanche County is Lawton. Comanche County is home to 126,390 residents, according to the United States Census Bureau.[1] Lawton is the seventh-largest school district in Oklahoma, serving 15,875 students during the 2011-2012 school year.[2]


Comanche County underperformed in comparison to the rest of Oklahoma in terms of higher education achievement in 2012. The United States Census Bureau found that 20.3 percent of Comanche County residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 23.2 percent for Oklahoma as a whole. The median household income in Comanche County was $46,320 compared to $44,891 for the state of Oklahoma. The poverty rate in Comanche County was 16.5 percent compared to 16.6 percent for the entire state.[1]

Racial Demographics, 2012[1]
Race Comanche County (%) Oklahoma (%)
White 66.9 75.5
Black or African American 17.7 7.6
American Indian and Alaska Native 6.2 9.0
Asian 2.4 1.9
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.6 0.2
Two or More Races 6.2 5.8
Hispanic or Latino 12.0 9.3

2013 Party Affiliation, Comanche County[3]
Party Registered Voters  % of Total
Democratic 28,368 51.55
Republican 18,403 33.44
Independent 8,261 15.01

Note: The United States Census Bureau considers "Hispanic or Latino" to be a place of origin, not a race. Therefore, the Census allows citizens to report both their race and that they are from a "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin simultaneously. As a result, the percentages in each column of the racial demographics table will exceed 100 percent. Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" place of origin percentages, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one or two tenths off from being exactly 100 percent.[4] This Ballotpedia page provides a more detailed explanation of how the Census Bureau handles race and ethnicity in its surveys.

Method of board member selection

The Lawton school board consists of five members elected to five-year terms by geographic electoral districts. There was no primary election, and the general election was held on February 11, 2014. If no candidate had received a majority of the vote, a runoff election would have been held on April 1, 2014.[5] The Area 4 seat was on the ballot in 2014, and the Area 5 seat will be on the ballot in 2015.[6] The Area 4 member represents Almor West, Hugh Bish, Brockland, Crosby Park, Edison and Woodland Hills.[7]

Candidates began to file affidavits of candidacy on December 2, 2013. The filing deadline for school board candidates to get on the ballot in the general election was December 4, 2013 and the deadline to contest a candidacy was December 6, 2013.[8]




Area 4
  • Lori Bridges Green check mark transparent.png
    • Graduate, Southwestern Oklahoma State University
    • Clinical pharmacist, Reynolds Army Hospital
  • Bob Brown
    • Graduate, University of Oklahoma
    • Retired educator

Election results

Lawton Public Schools, Area 4 General Election, 5-year term, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngLori Bridges 57.1% 345
     Nonpartisan Bob Brown 42.9% 259
Total Votes 604
Source: Oklahoma State Election Board, "Annual School Election — February 11, 2014," accessed February 12, 2014


Lori Bridges received an endorsement from Dana Moore, who won the 2013-2014 Lawton Public Schools Teacher of the Year award and who was a finalist for the Oklahoma Teacher of the Year award.[9]

Campaign finance

Neither candidate filed a campaign finance report with the Oklahoma Ethics Commission during the election.[10]

Past elections

What was at stake?

One seat on the school board was up for election on February 11, 2014. Area 4 incumbent George Schutz decided not to run for re-election, which left the seat vacant for competing newcomers Lori Bridges and Bob Brown. Neither the president nor the vice president of the school board were up for re-election in 2014.[5]

Issues in the election

Common Core implementation

After the Oklahoma State Legislature approved the adoption of the Common Core curriculum in 2010, Lawton Public Schools worked to implement the standards so that testing could begin during the 2013-14 school year. District Superintendent Tom Deighan has praised Common Core, stating, "Common Core is designed to go deeper into critical thinking into a subject." Retired educator Bob Brown criticized Common Core due to its extensive use of standardized testing. He argued, "In the public schools, there are so many weeks that are taken away because of standardized testing. [...]I would strongly urge parents to get involved in the local level, contact the school board members, let them know what they think about it."[12]

Testing and budget cuts

At a Lawton High School forum held in December 2013, district educators criticized the growing prevalence of standardized tests in the classroom, along with the effects of recent budget cuts on resources and teaching practices. Park Lane Elementary teacher Debi Green cited 90 minute reading periods for kindergarten students as an example of the poor teaching practices caused by budget cuts and consequent teacher shortages. She denounced the guidelines as "not developmentally appropriate" for her students. Woodland Hills Elementary teacher Cheryl Tate added she was forced to use significant personal resources to compensate for reduced classroom resources provided by the district. She also argued that Oklahoma's standardized testing requirements are excessive, claiming that the district is "test crazy" with its students. District Superintendent Tom Deighan defended the district and argued that the teacher shortages were caused by a lack of applicants for teaching positions, instead of by budget cuts.[13] Bob Brown noted that many new teachers hired by the district leave "after two or three years." Lori Bridges argued that the district's financial troubles should not prevent it from investing more in additional safety measures, such as security cameras.[14]

Key deadlines

The following dates were key deadlines for the Lawton Public Schools election in 2014:[8][15]

Deadline Event
December 2, 2013 First day to file affidavits of candidacy
December 4, 2013 Last day to file affidavits of candidacy
December 6, 2013 Last day to contest a candidacy
February 1, 2014 Last day to file first campaign finance report
February 11, 2014 Election day
March 23, 2014 Last day to file second campaign finance report
April 1, 2014 Runoff election (if necessary)
August 21, 2014 Last day to file final campaign finance report

Additional elections on the ballot

Two bond issues by Fletcher Public Schools were also on the ballot. Voters approved both measures.[16]

Recent news

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See also

External links

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