Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 6

Clip

Sep 2019 Page resized


18 A007 42%

The Clinton Daily News

2NODKRPDVFKRROIXQGLQJGLVSDULWLHVKLJKOLJKWHGDWIRUXP
BY STEVE METZER per-student costs of op- with new problems,” imperative that we nitely changing the whole organization that is the
The Journal Record erating virtual schools Sharp said. “There is an improve oversight,” he atmosphere. I think it oversight piece. We have
as compared to tradi- evident lack of transpar- said. will call for us to revisit the governing board and
Despite big invest- tional schools as well as ency of state fund use, Epic Assistant Super- the (funding) formula as then the school itself. In
ments made in educa- oversight responsibili- proper oversight and ac- intendent of Communi- well as oversight. I think today’s scenario, the gov-
tion in recent years, ties pertaining to virtual countability within our cations Shelly Hickman we’ll be looking into all erning board is selected
“noticeable, definable” charter schools. virtual charter school responded that Sharp aspects of it. The bottom by those who run the
inequities in funding Those who offered system.” has made willfully mis- line is we need to be look- school. It’s not like tradi-
remain between school input included Shawn Sharp has said he has leading comments about ing out for the best inter- tional brick-and-mortar
districts in Oklahoma, Hime, executive director grave doubts about the the charter schools. ests of our students.” schools where you have
and the rising influ- of the Oklahoma State veracity of enrollment Two state representa- State Rep. Andy Fugate, an elected school board,
ence of virtual charter School Boards Associa- figures reported by Epic tives who attended the D-Oklahoma City, agreed and to me that’s a funda-
schools may be making tion; Rebecca Wilkinson, that directly affect state forum said it’s likely that that virtual schools mental problem. If I can
disparities worse, espe- executive director of the funding of the virtual school funding and virtu- likely will be a hot topic set up a charter school
cially for rural districts. Oklahoma Statewide schools. He also has al school oversight will be when lawmakers meet and pick five of my
That was one of the Virtual Charter School aired concerns about among issues addressed again in session. friends to serve on the
messages shared by Board; Brad Clark, gen- Epic’s oversight and its during the next session of “I don’t know where it board I have autonomy
rural school administra- eral counsel of the Okla- reporting of finances. the Legislature. will go yet. My question over what it is I’m going
tors with state lawmak- homa Department of “The rules for tradi- “I think we’ll be look- is really about the three- to do, and that’s not con-
ers who gathered recent- Education; and several tional brick-and-mortar ing at a lot of potential tiered oversight,” he said. trol at all in a traditional
ly at the Capitol to take others. Oklahoma Sen. public schools and areas, from the funding “We have the sponsoring sense.”
part in forums sched- Ron Sharp, R-Shawnee, virtual charters are dif- of schools to the makeup
uled to address funding who has been a vocal ferent, and it’s causing of students (and) family
issues related to tradi- critic of the state’s Epic confusion and problems. expectations,” said state fresh ground meat &
tional public schools, virtual charter schools, Given their astronomi- Rep. Danny Sterling, R-
brick-and-mortar char- also attended the inter- cal growth and increas- Tecumseh. “(The rise of steaks cut the way
ter schools and virtual
charter schools. A panel
im study session.
“While our schools
ing state funding, it’s virtual schools) is defi- you like them!
of 17 state representa- have received historic
tives also assembled to funding the last two save money with
hear from experts about years, we’re now faced
MEAT PACKS

Property of OPS News Tracker and members of the Oklahoma Press Association.
Choctaw Times

Sep
18

2019

Page
A004
Clip
resized
41%

Property of OPS News Tracker and members of the Oklahoma Press Association.
Durant Daily Democrat

Sep
18
Forum highlights
disparities in
2019

Page
001
Clip
resized
97%

school spending
BY STEVE METZER scheduled to address
The Journal Record funding issues relat-
ed to traditional public
OKLAHOMA CITY – schools, brick-and-mor-
Despite big investments tar charter schools and
made in education in virtual charter schools.
recent years, “notice- A panel of 17 state rep-
able, definable” inequi- resentatives also assem-
ties in funding remain bled to hear from ex-
between school districts perts about per-student
in Oklahoma, and the costs of operating virtu-
rising influence of vir- al schools as compared
tual charter schools may to traditional schools as
be making disparities well as oversight respon-
worse, especially for ru- sibilities pertaining to
ral districts. virtual charter schools.
That was one of the Those who offered
messages shared by input included Shawn
rural school adminis- Hime, executive director
trators with state law- of the Oklahoma State
makers who gathered School Boards Associ-
last week at the Capitol
to take part in forums SEE FORUM, PAGE 9

Property of OPS News Tracker and members of the Oklahoma Press Association.
Durant Daily Democrat

addressed during the next ses- eas that don’t generate much
FORUM sion of the Legislature. in the way of property tax
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
“I think we’ll be looking at revenue for schools. It can be
a lot of potential areas, from incredibly difficult to finance
ation; Rebecca Wilkinson, the funding of schools to the a new bus or a new roof, let
executive director of the makeup of students (and) alone a new school, he said. In
Sep Oklahoma Statewide Virtual family expectations,” said his district there’s no money
18 Charter School Board; Brad state Rep. Danny Sterling, to replace an old, leaky under-
Clark, general counsel of the R-Tecumseh. “(The rise of ground storm cellar, which
2019 Oklahoma Department of Ed- virtual schools) is definitely means if severe weather is in
ucation; and several others. changing the whole atmo- the area students who have
Page Oklahoma Sen. Ron Sharp, sphere. I think it will call for to take shelter there end up
009 R-Shawnee, who has been a us to revisit the (funding) for- standing in water.
Clip vocal critic of the state’s Epic mula as well as oversight. I “Our school has no busi-
resized virtual charter schools, also think we’ll be looking into all nesses, no stores, no post of-
63%
attended the interim study aspects of it. The bottom line fice, so facility (maintenance
From session. is we need to be looking out and upgrade) for us is quite a
001 “While our schools have for the best interests of our problem,” he said.
received historic funding the students.” Mathews said there are
last two years, we’re now faced State Rep. Andy Fugate, many other school districts
with new problems,” Sharp D-Oklahoma City, agreed that across the state that similarly
said. “There is an evident lack virtual schools likely will be struggle as a result of so many
of transparency of state fund a hot topic when lawmakers expenses being tied to local
use, proper oversight and ac- meet again in session. property tax revenues and
countability within our virtu- “I don’t know where it will bonding capacity.
al charter school system.” go yet. My question is really “They’re in a desperate
Sharp has said he has grave about the three-tiered over- fight to keep from being closed
doubts about the veracity of sight,” he said. “We have the or consolidated,” he said.
enrollment figures reported sponsoring organization that Haynes added that some ru-
by Epic that directly affect is the oversight piece. We have ral schools have lost students
state funding of the virtual the governing board and then to virtual charter schools
schools. He also has aired con- the school itself. In today’s – along with state funding
cerns about Epic’s oversight scenario, the governing board based on enrollment numbers
and its reporting of finances. is selected by those who run – only to end up re-enrolling
“The rules for tradition- the school. It’s not like tra- the same students months
al brick-and-mortar public ditional brick-and-mortar later without receiving any
schools and virtual charters schools where you have an increase in funding. He sug-
are different, and it’s causing elected school board, and to gested that issues related to
confusion and problems. Giv- me that’s a fundamental prob- measures of student success
en their astronomical growth lem. If I can set up a charter and attendance reporting by
and increasing state funding, school and pick five of my virtual charter schools need
it’s imperative that we im- friends to serve on the board I to be carefully examined by
prove oversight,” he said. have autonomy over what it is the state.
Epic Assistant Superin- I’m going to do, and that’s not “There is a noticeable, de-
tendent of Communications control at all in a traditional finable difference between a
Shelly Hickman responded sense.” brick-and-mortar school and
that Sharp has made willfully Spiro Public Schools Su- a virtual school, and between
misleading comments about perintendent Richard Haynes rural and urban. It’s just the
the charter schools. and New Lima Public Schools reality of the situation. They
Two state representatives Superintendent Jim Mathews have more resources and rev-
who attended Wednesday’s fo- offered lawmakers input from enue to work with than what a
rum said it’s likely that school rural districts. Haynes spoke rural school has. That doesn’t
funding and virtual school about serious challenges mean their kids are any more
oversight will be among issues faced by school systems in ar- important,” he said.

Property of OPS News Tracker and members of the Oklahoma Press Association.
The Fairfax Chief

Sep
18

2019

Page
0005
Clip
resized
26%

Property of OPS News Tracker and members of the Oklahoma Press Association.
The Rush Springs Gazette

Funding inequity.
Sep Forum highlights disparities
19

2019
in school spending
By Steve Metzer
The Journal Record
Page OKLAHOMA CITY – Despite big investments made in education in recent years, “noticeable,
005 GHÀQDEOHµLQHTXLWLHVLQIXQGLQJUHPDLQEHWZHHQVFKRROGLVWULFWVLQ2NODKRPDDQGWKHULVLQJ
LQÁXHQFHRIYLUWXDOFKDUWHUVFKRROVPD\EHPDNLQJGLVSDULWLHVZRUVHHVSHFLDOO\IRUUXUDOGLVWULFWV
Clip That was one of the messages shared by rural school administrators with state lawmakers
resized who gathered on Wednesday at the Capitol to take part in forums scheduled to address funding
45% issues related to traditional public schools, brick-and-mortar charter schools and virtual charter
schools. A panel of 17 state representatives also assembled to hear from experts about per-stu-
dent costs of operating virtual schools as compared to traditional schools as well as oversight
responsibilities pertaining to virtual charter schools.
Those who offered input included Shawn Hime, executive director of the Oklahoma State
School Boards Association; Rebecca Wilkinson, executive director of the Oklahoma Statewide
Virtual Charter School Board; Brad Clark, general counsel of the Oklahoma Department of
Education; and several others. Oklahoma Sen. Ron Sharp, R-Shawnee, who has been a vocal
critic of the state’s Epic virtual charter schools, also attended the interim study session.
“While our schools have received historic funding the last two years, we’re now faced with
new problems,” Sharp said. “There is an evident lack of transparency of state fund use, proper
oversight and accountability within our virtual charter school system.”
6KDUSKDVVDLGKHKDVJUDYHGRXEWVDERXWWKHYHUDFLW\RIHQUROOPHQWÀJXUHVUHSRUWHGE\(SLF
that directly affect state funding of the virtual schools. He also has aired concerns about Epic’s
RYHUVLJKWDQGLWVUHSRUWLQJRIÀQDQFHV
“The rules for traditional brick-and-mortar public schools and virtual charters are different,
and it’s causing confusion and problems. Given their astronomical growth and increasing state
funding, it’s imperative that we improve oversight,” he said.
Epic Assistant Superintendent of Communications Shelly Hickman responded that Sharp has
made willfully misleading comments about the charter schools.
Two state representatives who attended Wednesday’s forum said it’s likely that school fund-
ing and virtual school oversight will be among issues addressed during the next session of the
Legislature.
“I think we’ll be looking at a lot of potential areas, from the funding of schools to the make-
up of students (and) family expectations,” said state Rep. Danny Sterling, R-Tecumseh. “(The
ULVHRIYLUWXDOVFKRROV LVGHÀQLWHO\FKDQJLQJWKHZKROHDWPRVSKHUH,WKLQNLWZLOOFDOOIRUXVWR
revisit the (funding) formula as well as oversight. I think we’ll be looking into all aspects of it.
The bottom line is we need to be looking out for the best interests of our students.”
State Rep. Andy Fugate, D-Oklahoma City, agreed that virtual schools likely will be a hot
topic when lawmakers meet again in session.
“I don’t know where it will go yet. My question is really about the three-tiered oversight," he
said. "We have the sponsoring organization that is the oversight piece. We have the governing
board and then the school itself. In today’s scenario, the governing board is selected by those
who run the school. It’s not like traditional brick-and-mortar schools where you have an elected
school board, and to me that’s a fundamental problem. If I can set up a charter school and pick
ÀYHRIP\IULHQGVWRVHUYHRQWKHERDUG,KDYHDXWRQRP\RYHUZKDWLWLV,·PJRLQJWRGRDQG
that’s not control at all in a traditional sense.”
Spiro Public Schools Superintendent Richard Haynes and New Lima Public Schools Su-
perintendent Jim Mathews offered lawmakers input from rural districts. Haynes spoke about
serious challenges faced by school systems in areas that don’t generate much in the way of
SURSHUW\WD[UHYHQXHIRUVFKRROV,WFDQEHLQFUHGLEO\GLIÀFXOWWRÀQDQFHDQHZEXVRUDQHZ
roof, let alone a new school, he said. In his district there’s no money to replace an old, leaky
underground storm cellar, which means if severe weather is in the area students who have to
take shelter there end up standing in water.
´2XUVFKRROKDVQREXVLQHVVHVQRVWRUHVQRSRVWRIÀFHVRIDFLOLW\ PDLQWHQDQFHDQGXSJUDGH
for us is quite a problem,” he said.
Mathews said there are many other school districts across the state that similarly struggle as
a result of so many expenses being tied to local property tax revenues and bonding capacity.
´7KH\·UHLQDGHVSHUDWHÀJKWWRNHHSIURPEHLQJFORVHGRUFRQVROLGDWHGµKHVDLG
Haynes added that some rural schools have lost students to virtual charter schools – along
with state funding based on enrollment numbers – only to end up re-enrolling the same stu-
dents months later without receiving any increase in funding. He suggested that issues related
to measures of student success and attendance reporting by virtual charter schools need to be
carefully examined by the state.
´7KHUHLVDQRWLFHDEOHGHÀQDEOHGLIIHUHQFHEHWZHHQDEULFNDQGPRUWDUVFKRRODQGDYLUWXDO
school, and between rural and urban. It’s just the reality of the situation. They have more re-
sources and revenue to work with than what a rural school has. That doesn’t mean their kids
are any more important,” he said.

Property of OPS News Tracker and members of the Oklahoma Press Association.