Oklahoma's statewide virtual charter school board begins work

The board of Oklahoma's statewide virtual charter school met for the first time March 18. The school's sponsoring board is the Oklahoma Department of Education.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL ccoppernoll@opubco.com Modified: March 18, 2013 at 7:33 pm •  Published: March 19, 2013
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In the final days of the legislative session last year, lawmakers tacked on a $30 million allocation for textbooks to Stanislawski's bill.

The amendment came up because state schools Superintendent Janet Barresi announced that she planned to shuffle a third of the $33 million in state funds allocated for textbooks into other programs.

Lawmakers passed the charter school proposal with the textbook amendment. Gov. Mary Fallin signed the bill into law in June, and it went into effect July 1.

Oklahoma City attorney Jerry Fent filed a lawsuit Oct. 31 with the Oklahoma Supreme Court. Fent accused legislators of lumping together proposals that dealt with more than one subject into a single bill. The practice, often called logrolling, is banned by the state constitution.

But Assistant Attorney General Nancy Zerr said the issues were related because they fell into the same category: education.

On Dec. 4, the state Supreme Court voted 5-4 not to hear the lawsuit.

Two now in place

Oklahoma has two online charter schools now, said Derrel Fincher, director of instructional technology for the Education Department.

Epic One-on-One Charter School had about 1,400 students enrolled last year, according to Education Department data. The school received a D under the state A-F school evaluation system. The school's parent district, Graham Public Schools, has about 260 students and also received a D.

Oklahoma Virtual Charter Academy had about 500 students enrolled last year, according to Education Department data. The school received a C under the state A-F school evaluation system. The school's parent district, Choctaw-Nicoma Park Schools, has about 9,500 students and received a B.

CONTRIBUTING: STAFF WRITER MICHAEL MCNUTT



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