Oklahoma City acting superintendent threatens to quit amid disagreement with school board

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OKLAHOMA CITY – As Oklahoma City students and teachers head back to class for the first time in two weeks, there seems to be some turmoil with the Oklahoma City Public School Board.

During Thursday’s meeting, the district’s acting superintendent threatened to quit after she said the board was meddling in her efforts to save money.

“I have to say that if this board is going to micromanage the district in this way and violate its own policy that very clearly states that this is the superintendent’s role, I do not intend to continue as your acting superintendent,” Acting Oklahoma City Superintendent Rebecca Kaye said at the meeting.

According to NewsOK, Kaye was proposing to cut teaching positions and combine classrooms with smaller enrollments to save about $2.5 million.

However, others on the board said that money should be moved ‘from non-instructional areas’ instead. It is money that Kaye says doesn’t exist.

“There is no pot of gold sitting somewhere that we can use,” she said.

“There is a reason I am the 13th person sitting in this chair since the year 2000,” she added.

Kaye told NewsOK in a statement that her team has spent months trying to find a better option.

“The bottom line right now is our projected enrollment is dropping, which means we will need fewer teachers and we will receive less funding from the state,” she said. “As we have seen in recent days, schools are not likely to see any substantial budget relief for next year.

“So, per the board’s policy, we have tweaked our staffing process for next year to bring more equity and consistently smaller class sizes within the bounds of our budget constraints. This may result in some schools choosing to have multigrade classes. Unfortunately, there are no other options that I can recommend in the short term that align to our values and the previous commitments of the board and administration.”

In January, the Oklahoma City Public School District announced that Superintendent Aurora Lora had submitted her resignation to the Oklahoma City Public Schools Board of Education.

Lora was named the district superintendent in 2016 following the resignation of the previous superintendent, Rob Neu.

Following Lora’s resignation, the board appointed Kaye as acting superintendent until another could be found.

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