PUTNAM CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – The Putnam City Schools Board of Education voted in support of taking legal action against the Oklahoma State Board of Education in response to the State Board voting to equalize funding between charter schools and public school districts.
Putnam City’s School Board authorized the school district’s superintendent, Dr. Fred Rhodes, and legal counsel to pursue legal action against the State Board of Education, according to a news release issued on Friday.
The State Board voted on March 25 to equally distribute property tax dollars among public and charter schools, including virtual schools like Epic Charter Schools.
Trent Smith – Gov. Kevin Stitt’s newest appointee to the State Board of Education – made the motion to change how property tax dollars are distributed among schools. The State Board then passed the motion.
Charter schools do not receive money for facilities, and charter school officials say they’ve been chronically under-funded. Charter schools, however, can operate with significantly less oversight than public schools and don’t have to offer the same services.
Officials from charter schools can choose not to transport students and follow their own curriculum and hiring policies.
The Oklahoma City Public Schools Board of Education approved a resolution on April 2 to take legal action against the State Board in pursuit of a temporary restraining order and injunction to stop the state board from implementing the new funding plan for charter schools to protect their students from funding cuts.
State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister previously said the funding change is unconstitutional because taxpayers lose control over how their education dollars are spent.