Challenge to charters
Thirteen school districts currently can allow charters under the law, but Tahlequah is not among those districts, according to the state Education Department.
Coffee said he doesn't know if he'll be able to get the votes right now to expand the bill to include places like Tahlequah. "We work in incrementalism in this building,” he said.
If the Legislature votes to allow tribes to sponsor charters but doesn't expand the geographical boundaries where they can be established, Smith said the Cherokee Nation will wait it out.
"We don't have the resources and the infrastructure to do something in Tulsa at this time,” Smith said.
The geographical limits on charters are actually the basis for the lawsuit, which was filed by Tulsa Public Schools in December.
It alleges the charter school law violates the Oklahoma Constitution because it qualifies as a "special law” for unfairly singling out certain districts that are required to consider charter school applications.