With budget challenges at the state level in recent years and the potential for federal cuts on the horizon, it's also imperative the new board members get up to speed quickly on budget matters. School finance is full of twists and turns and restrictions and mandates. This board simply doesn't have the luxury of a honeymoon period. Too much is at stake.
We're reminded of the words Allen wrote in an Oklahoman op-ed just two months ago: “Oklahoma City must come to terms with the fact that the school district is incapable of improving on its own. Our patrons, residents, faith partners, business and city leaders, along with the union, must come together and move our district forward. … Coming together as a community will be difficult … but not nearly as difficult and painful as standing by while another generation of our children aren't given every opportunity to become productive citizens and achieve their dreams.”
At the beginning, middle and end of every policy is the future of a child. It's no secret that 90 percent of the children in Oklahoma City Public Schools are in families living at or near the poverty lines. Many of them live in violence and instability. They simply don't know another way to live.
A good education is their best hope for breaking the cycle of poverty. With every decision they make, school board members should reflect on that truth.