Two enterprise schools without contracts have agreed to pay Oklahoma City Public Schools more than $200,000 in previously waived administration fees to gain board approval on new deals before classes start Monday.
The Oklahoma City School Board is expected to consider new contracts for Belle Isle Enterprise Middle School and Jackson Enterprise Elementary School at a special meeting Tuesday. The meeting starts at 5 p.m. inside the district administration building, 900 N Klein.
Board members could not reach a consensus on the contracts at their July 21 meeting, leaving Belle Isle parents feeling uncertain and frustrated with the school year nearing its start.
The administration fees were reinstated into the latest contracts after three board members spoke out against the waivers, which had been recommended for approval by district administrators, documents show.
The contracts call for the schools to each receive $4,423.25 in per-pupil funding. At that rate, the 5 percent administration fee would amount to $99,523 for Belle Isle (450 students) and $120,091 for Jackson (543 students).
Enterprise schools sign annual contracts with the district because they operate differently than traditional public schools. Enterprise school status gives the school its own school board, more flexibility for spending and staffing, and other unique rights.
Board member Phil Horning said he voted against the contract because both schools already negotiate their own per-pupil funding and shouldn’t get their administration fees waived as well. Belle Isle, Horning added, has an unfair advantage because it gets to pick and choose students and should be treated the same as every other school in the district.
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