OKCPS School Board denies contract with Belle Isle, Jackson Enterprise schools

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OKLAHOMA CITY - At a meeting Monday night, the Oklahoma City Public Schools School Board denied a contract which would provide funding for Belle Isle Enterprise Middle School and Jackson Enterprise School. Now, many parents are worried their children won't be able to attend the school they've grown to love.

The first day of school is set for August 4th, but contract negotiations are in limbo right now.

District officials say school will begin on August 4th, regardless of the contract. However, the contract is what provides funding to the school.

Board members voted 3-to-3. A tie vote means the contract was not approved.

Board Member Justin Ellis, who voted in favor of the contract, says the disagreement came down to a clause which would allow Belle Isle to no longer pay a 5-percent administrative fee to the district.

Ellis said, "It was surprising, but it's a constant fight."

Parents say Belle Isle is one of the best schools in the metro.

Lynne Rostochil, a Belle Isle parent, said, "I don't know why there aren't more schools like this in the city."

Ashlee Webster, another concerned parent, said, "The children are amazing. Their test scores. It's done wonders for our community."

Rostochil said, "This is a 2-time Blue Ribbon Award winning school. It's the best junior high in the city."

In fact, Ellis says this school is one Oklahoma City should be proud of.

Ellis said, "Belle Isle is a terrific school and we ought to emulate Belle Isle with the rest of our district."

Board members Phil Horning, Ruth Veales and Ron Millican voted against the contract. We tried to talk with them; however, none of them returned our calls.

In a statement, the district said the superintendent will now meet with Belle Isle administrators to see if they can come to an agreement.

Parents say students work hard and don't deserve to now have fear about the future of their education.

Rostochil said, "This has definitely been the best school experience my kids have ever had."

Oklahoma City School officials say Belle Isle is not the only school in the contract. Jackson Enterprise School is also dealing with these negotiations.

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