Sapulpa to join lawsuit against State Board

District to join lawsuit against State Board of Education
Posted on 04/13/2021
Washington Administrative Center(SPS) -- The Sapulpa School Board of Education voted unanimously on Monday night to authorize the school district’s attorney to initiate legal action against the Oklahoma State Board of Education. The authorization is in response to the state board’s decision during a special meeting on March 25 to settle litigation that will redistribute local and state revenue to charter schools.

The lawsuit filed by the Oklahoma Public Charter School Association in 2017 called for an equal share of revenues for charter schools and that those schools should be funded as a public school district. The Oklahoma State Board of Education voted 4-3 to settle the lawsuit paving the way for charter schools to receive state and local revenue, that had not previously been available. Allocations will be distributed after the new fiscal year begins on July 1.

Since the special meeting, several public school districts in Oklahoma have challenged the Oklahoma State Board of Education’s authority with legal action against the Board. Sapulpa Public Schools will be one of those districts.

On Monday night, Superintendent Rob Armstrong introduced the discussion item to authorize legal action and recommended the district join the other schools in the lawsuit. Tulsa Public Schools and Jenks Public Schools passed similar authorizations that same evening.

The state board’s decision to settle the lawsuit was not expected and faced strong opposition from State Superintendent of Instruction Joy Hofmeister, the chairperson and a voting member of the state board. She and the board’s legal counsel advised the body that the settlement offer had to be rejected because it violated the state constitution, state statute, and bypassed the legislative process. The settlement offer was approved regardless.
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