Oklahoma City School Board rehires lobbyist

The Oklahoma City School Board voted 7-1 Monday night to rehire lobbyist Janis Loftis for $41,220. Superintendent Karl Springer said Loftis does a good job keeping district officials abreast on legislative happenings
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL ccoppernoll@opubco.com Published: July 16, 2013
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The Oklahoma City School Board decided to rehire a lobbyist after a quick debate about whether the service pays off.

District 6 board member Jay Means said he asked last year for data about Janis Loftis's performance.

“I asked what benefit we would get from this service,” he said, “and I was given no data, other than, ‘This person gets along really well with senators and representatives.'”

Superintendent Karl Springer said Loftis does a good job keeping district officials abreast on legislative happenings. For example, he said she provided quick updates on changes to the statewide A-F school grading system.

District 7 board member Ron Millican asked if the board should wait to hire a new one after receiving a recommendation from whatever new superintendent is hired after Springer's retirement.

Board Chairwoman Lynne Hardin said she didn't think they could wait.

“I don't think we can afford to be without some representation,” she said.

But Means contended that representation wasn't necessary in the first place. Each board member has the option to reach out to his or her representatives about education issues.

“Any one of us can lobby for our local representatives,” he said. “... I'm very familiar with the elected officials in my district, know them all personally, can go into their office any time.”

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