Charter schools

File photo

In a special meeting Monday night, the Oklahoma State Board of Education voted unanimously to rescind a March resolution to equalize state funding for charter and traditional public schools.

The vote came hours after lawmakers sent the governor legislation to create a grant program for underfunded schools, including brick-and-mortar charter schools. The board voted after a roughly 45-minute executive session with their recently hired outside legal counsel, Hall Estil shareholder John O'Connor.

Oklahoma House of Representatives

The Oklahoma House on Monday advanced major pieces of legislation dealing with charter schools.

The Oklahoma State Board of Education approved a $45,000 contract Monday evening for outside legal counsel in three legal challenges to its decision to equalize traditional public and charter school funding.

Epic Schools

Epic Charter Schools’ governing board voted shortly after midnight Wednesday to reform its controversial learning fund.

Starting in July, the details of the fund will be available for public inspection for the first time.

The learning fund gives up to $1,000 to students who are enrolled in the school for educational purposes. In the previous five years, it’s accrued almost $80 million.

In a five-hour special meeting on Friday, the Oklahoma State Board of Education voted to keep an indigenous-led charter school on probation and to place an Oklahoma City district on probation.

The board could have terminated Sovereign Community School’s contract, but they praised operations director Stacie Thrasher and founding board member Kyla Molina for working to improve its governance and solve financial problems.

Oklahoma House Democrats

Democrats in the Oklahoma House of Representatives on Monday slammed several recent education policy proposals and actions they say will have negative impacts on the state's public school students.

"Those who have no background nor experience in education are making decisions in a vacuum," said teacher-turned-lawmaker Rep. Melissa Provenzano (D-Tulsa) during a Capitol press conference. "We've got legislators in this building openly calling for the disruption of public schools. These are our children we are talking about disrupting here."

Matt Trotter / KWGS

After convening for hours in a closed meeting, Oklahoma’s State Board of Education flipped public school funding on its head.

 

The board voted 4-3 on a resolution to “equalize funding for all charter schools and public schools.”

YouTube / Epic Charter Schools

In a video address ahead of the fall semester, Epic Charter Schools co-founder Ben Harris claimed that what parents may have heard about the school in relation to an active law enforcement investigation is not true.

"Some of those families coming to us may be skeptical of sending their children to us because of the negative and unfair and often flatout inaccurate news about us the past few years," Harris said. 

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Enrollment at a virtual charter school in Oklahoma has skyrocketed amid the coronavirus pandemic that forced closures for traditional school districts.

Tulsa Public Schools

Mark Twain and Wright elementary schools will be occupied by charter schools next year.

The Tulsa Public Schools Board approved the district to enter into leases with Collegiate Hall for Wright and KIPP Tulsa for Mark Twain.

There was some pushback on the proposal. Board member Jennettie Marshall said a four-person review of the charter schools’ applications is not an official district policy, and she would rather see that set before voting on the applications.

The board approved them with a promise to adopt the process used as policy for future lease applications.