Oklahoma State Board of Education

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Public school teachers in Oklahoma could have their teaching licenses suspended for teaching certain concepts about race and racism under new rulesapproved Monday by the State Board of Education.

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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.

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.

Oklahoma Watch

Several Tulsa-area school boards voted Monday to let their districts' attorneys challenge the State Board of Education's decision to give charter schools an equal share of state funding.

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.

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.”

Matt Trotter / KWGS

One of the first bills passed out of a state legislative committee this session seeks to limit the governor’s power to remove members they appointed to the State Board of Education.

Senate Bill 157 by Sen. J.J. Dossett (D-Owasso) would make it so education board members can be removed only for cause, including a felony conviction and malfeasance in relation to their duties.

While they were suspended last school year, there will be some changes to the Oklahoma School Report Cards when they return. 

Going forward, the single English language and math achievement indicator will be separated into a performance and an improvement indicator. Deputy Superintendent of Assessment and Accountability Maria Harris said trying to combine a snapshot and a longer-term outlook into a single indicator was complicated.

The Oklahoma State Board of Education on Thursday voted to give districts another year before they must seek a waiver to go on four-day school weeks.

Under state law, districts wanting to have fewer than the minimum 165 days of instruction would have to seek a waiver from the state department of education starting with the 2021–22 school year. The board’s decision postpones the waiver requirement until 2022–23. At all grade levels, the most recent Oklahoma School Report Card was part of the eligibility requirements.

There will be no Oklahoma School report cards for the current year.

The State Board of Education voted unanimously on Thursday to suspend them for one year because of upheaval caused by the coronavirus pandemic. State testing factors heavily into the A–F report cards and is set to go on, but all of the data that goes into them will somehow be affected.

Deputy Superintendent of Assessment and Accountability Maria Harris told the board, for example, students didn’t test last year because of a federal waiver. Now, there’s no way to measure academic growth over the past year.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt on Monday rescinded his appointment to the State Board of Education of an Enid woman who led an anti-mask crusade in the northwest Oklahoma City.

Stitt said in a statement he rescinded the appointment of Melissa Crabtree at her request.

“I was extremely disappointed to see how many were so quick to judge her without taking the time to personally speak to her,” Stitt said.

Robby Korth / StateImpact Oklahoma

Gov. Kevin Stitt quietly removed and replaced State Board of Education member Kurt Bollenbach of Kingfisher and replaced him with an anti-mask activist from Enid this week.

Melissa Crabtree has been an outspoken critic of masking in Enid. Bollenbach was one of three board members to vote in favor of a mask mandate in Oklahoma schools.

Stitt – who has repeatedly said he won’t implement a statewide mask mandate – has said when making political appointments to various boards he hopes people will do what he wants.

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Oklahoma’s state testing window for the current school year will start two weeks sooner and end one week later than originally planned.

The State Board of Education on Thursday approved changing the initially planned window of April 20 through May 17. Math, English language and science assessments in grades three through eight can now be started any time between April 6 and May 24.

Roland Leach / U.S. Air Force

Despite a push in the last week by a coalition of groups, the Oklahoma State Board of Education on Thursday declined to implement a statewide school mask requirement.

The board instead passed a resolution that "implores" districts to require students and staff wear masks as COVID numbers in the state rise and districts struggle to keep schools open.

Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Billboards supporting a statewide mask mandate in Oklahoma schools have been erected across the state.

Epic Schools

In the wake of a state audit of Oklahoma’s largest charter school, the State Board of Education is demanding it repay funds members say were misused.

After nearly two hours in executive session on Monday, the board unanimously voted to demand Epic Charter Schools pay back $11,235,919 in total within 60 days of receiving work papers from the state auditor.

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma City Public Schools announced Friday it is returning to distance learning for at least two weeks and canceling indoor athletics amid a continued rise in coronavirus cases.

In an email to parents, district officials say they made the decision after the number of confirmed coronavirus cases increased from 15.8 per 100,000 population last week to 26.2 cases this week.

The Oklahoma State Department of Education will ask lawmakers for just under $3.2 billion for fiscal year 2022. 

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister said the agency is obligated to make a budget request that accurately reflects the needs of students, but the state’s finances are a factor.

"We actually are asking for not even what we asked for last year, but less," Hofmeister said.

The education request represents a total increase of almost $191 million from this year’s appropriation but is about $107 million less than the agency’s last budget request.

Facebook / Governor Kevin Stitt

State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister said on Tuesday that she considers it unacceptable that a sizeable number of Oklahoma school districts have declined to require masks as they reopen for in-person instruction amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Oklahoma Watch

While all but one county in Oklahoma meet the threshold of new coronavirus infections for school masking policies, 35% of districts have no mask requirement in place, according to a survey by the State Department of Education.

In approving the department’s COVID safety protocols last month, the State Board of Education cut requirements down to recommendations, including those for masks for students, teachers and staff. State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister said the lack of mask requirements is still concerning.

Facebook / Tulsa Public Schools

Superintendent Deborah Gist of Tulsa Public Schools presented a recommendation to the district's board of education on Monday that schools offer no in-person instruction when they begin next month, due to the level of safety and the rate of coronavirus spread locally. 

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Two physicians groups say under current conditions, they can’t support a statewide return to in-person learning next month at Oklahoma’s K–12 schools, but they do have recommendations for reopening.

The Oklahoma Academy of Family Physicians and the Oklahoma Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics say there’s too much variation in how the coronavirus is spreading in the state.

Facebook / Tulsa Public Schools

Following the Oklahoma State Board of Education's vote to not require a statewide COVID-19 policy, some Oklahoma school district officials say they're now being put in a tough spot.

"It's just much more difficult than anything I've dealt with in 47 years in the business," said Terry Davidson, finance director and former superintendent for Comanche Public Schools, of the pandemic, on a virtual meeting of the Oklahoma Schools Insurance Group on Monday.

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

Oklahoma High School Fall Sports Planned To Start On Time

Jul 24, 2020
Facebook / Broken Arrow Tiger Sports

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The governing body for high school activities in Oklahoma plans for sports, including football, to start on time in the fall.

A Green Country district the State Board of Education says failed to protect students through recurring incidents of alleged sexual misconduct made on Thursday its first required report since being reprimanded and placed on accreditation with probation.

Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma schools will not be required by the state to institute any specific COVID safety protocols if the pandemic worsens after kids return to school.

On a 4–3 vote Thursday, the Oklahoma State Board of Education approved a motion to reduce any requirements in a proposed set of COVID safety protocols to recommendations.

Oklahoma State Department of Education.

At a meeting scheduled for Thursday, the Oklahoma State Board of Education is expected to discuss the possibility of implementing a mask requirement for schools that reopen for in-person learning this fall.

Superintendent Joy Hofmeister, who heads the State Department of Education, said a system is still being developed, but that a policy would likely be tiered, with recommendations or requirements based upon the status of a school's community on Oklahoma's color-coded COVID Alert System.

Wikipedia

The Oklahoma State Board of Education approved a waiver for the upcoming school year on Thursday that will let Saturday sessions count toward instructional time requirements.

Previously, individual districts had to apply for the waiver, a process that could lead to them waiting a month until the next education board meeting. State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister said districts need the ability to change their plans quickly because while COVID-19 has likely not run its full course, she does not foresee a state-level response like closing all schools again in the fall.