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Oklahoma City school board votes against plan to fund Enterprise schools the same

The Oklahoma City School Board voted 5-2 against a plan to change the funding formula for Belle Isle Enterprise Middle School and Columbus Enterprise Elementary School, which have negotiated their per-pupil funding since 1999.
by Tim Willert Published: June 17, 2014
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Oklahoma City School Board members Monday night rejected a plan to fund a pair of successful enterprise schools on a par with dozens of poorly performing schools.

The board voted 5-2 against a plan to change the funding formula for Belle Isle Enterprise Middle School and Columbus Enterprise Elementary School, which have negotiated their per-pupil funding since 1999.

The board also voted against a proposed policy revision to discontinue future enterprise schools.

Board members who voted against the revision criticized district officials for recommending the plan to change how the school is funded without first discussing it with Belle Isle administrators.

A vocal Justin Ellis, of District 2, added that more attention should be paid to dozens of poorly performing schools in the district, not Belle Isle, which scored an A plus on its latest state report card.

“They’re a success. Ask them what they’re doing right,” Ellis said. “Don’t take away (their funding).”

Supporters of the school said the proposed policy revision would result in “a fundamental change” to school operations, which include staffing levels, compensation and the school’s extended day.

“We need more information and a better understanding of what the change could mean for Belle Isle’s finances and site-based budgeting flexibility before the school board reaches a final decision on this aspect of the policy,” Stephen Zahn, president of the school’s governing board, told the board before the item came up for a vote.

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by Tim Willert
Education Reporter
Tim Willert is a native Californian with Oklahoma ties who covers education. Prior to moving to Oklahoma in June 2011, he was as an editor for FOXSports.com in Century City, Calif., and reported on courts for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and...
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