OKCPS Board of Education to Consider A Resolution for Legal Action Against Oklahoma Legislature
Supt. Aurora Lora
Aug. 17, 2017: Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent Aurora Lora announced at a press conference this morning that the OKCPS Board of Education is calling for a special board meeting to address education funding. Below are remarks from Mark Mann about the school system's plan to bring a lawsuit against the Oklahoma legislature concerning the Board's inability to function because of extreme cuts to education funding.
On Monday, August 21st, the Board will consider a resolution instructing the District’s legal counsel and appropriate staff to begin the process of interviewing law firms in order to prepare a lawsuit, or lawsuits, against the Oklahoma legislature – and specifically, Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tempore of the Oklahoma Senate in their official capacities.
Over the past few years, Oklahoma education funding has decreased dramatically. In fact, Oklahoma is first in the nation for cuts to per-pupil funding. Our funding has dropped while the legislative mandates have remained. This is not sustainable for any school system.
Oklahoma’s legislative leadership has failed at their constitutional responsibility to provide textbooks for every child, and their moral responsibility to put Oklahoma’s children and their education first. While doing so, they have obstructed the OKCPS Board of Education from performing our constitutional role as intended. This is not acceptable.
Legislative leadership has a chance to make this right. When they undoubtedly go into special session later this fall, they can fix the ill-conceived revenue measures that have been struck down or will be struck down by the Oklahoma Supreme Court. They can raise revenue. They can make our children a priority by properly funding education. Then and only then will our efforts cease.
Make no mistake, we care deeply about all Oklahoma students and this is why we are proposing this resolution. The Board is prepared to exhaust all efforts, including litigation, in the fight to provide a quality education for the children of OKCPS and Oklahoma.
The Special Board Meeting will take place at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 21 at Northeast Academy Auditorium (3100 N. Kelley). Here is a copy of the Resolution the Board will consider at the meeting: