Work done by a task force made up of Oklahoma City Council and Oklahoma City School Board members has led to a groundbreaking joint formal meeting Tuesday with the full strength of both groups.
The city council and school board members meet at 5:30 p.m. at the Oklahoma History Center in what officials think is the first formal meeting between a municipal council and school board in Oklahoma history. Because schools are run by the state here, partnerships between municipal governments and schools are rare.
The task force has been meeting for more than a year and focusing on ways the city and school district can combine forces using existing resources and infrastructure to help each other out. City Councilman Pete White, a leading voice on the task force, has long pushed for a full joint meeting of both bodies, and Tuesday's open meeting is the result.
Transit help, audit
are on agenda
Two recent efforts spawned in part from task force meetings are among agenda items for Tuesday's meeting. Central Oklahoma Transportation and Parking Authority Administrator Rick Cain will update members of the council and school board on efforts to use city buses as transportation for some high school students, and discussion of a performance audit of the schools by the city auditor also is scheduled.
Oklahoma City schools are using an academy system this year, with some students attending specialized academies at high schools outside their district. A financial academy with a working credit union with student staffers is set up for John Marshall High School, for example.
Metro Transit buses will take city students to school as part of a partnership for the first time in years. A pilot program allowing those students to use city buses for other transportation needs without having to pay fares is also part of the plan.
City auditors are expected to help the school find inefficiencies and other issues within a performance audit, much like the auditors evaluate city departments.
Other topics of discussion include marketing and communications projects, tutoring and plans to get more community organizations to use schools as meeting points to deepen the connection between schools and civically active city residents.