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The Anadarko Daily News

Jan
23

2019

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Sapulpa Daily Herald

Jan
School Board Budget Review
23

2019
BY JOHN BROCK
Page HERALD NEWS EDITOR
A001 Aging and failing infrastructure is an area of America and here locally
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in our schools as well. On January 17 the Sapulpa Board of Education were
72% presented a report by Asst. Superintendent of Schools Johnny Bilby, con-
cerning several roof issues at the high school.
Bilby reported to school board members Sarah Havenstrite, Larry
Hoover, Wayne Richards and Chairperson Melinda Ryan of water penetra-
tion from above at several spots.
“We do have leaking from the Chieftain Center roof. The roof is twenty
years old. We have two quotes on fixes and may try an acrylic silicone
overlay,” Bilby said. The Chieftain Center fieldhouse leak is concerning as
potential water damage to the wooden plank paneled floor and scoreboard
and other pricey interior pieces would entail great expense. Additionally
some leaks in the Shaw Auditorium ceiling and in the area of the ROTC
halls of the SHS main building were also noted. Other ongoing projects
were discussed, including the renovation of the Commons area at the high-
school and main hall restroom renovations upcoming. Also HVAC work at
the Washington Administration Building on East Lee Street is estimated to
cost $180,000.
Superintendent of Schools Rob Armstrong introduced to the board-
members present Thursday evening to the district’s second resource officer
Jeff Elder. SPD Officer Phillip Diehl will remain in service at the high
school while Elder will be stationed mainly at the Middle School and serve
the district’s four elementary school sites (Freedom, Liberty STEM,
Jefferson Heights and Holmes Park).
“We want to continue this relationship between the district and the city.
These are not policing (our kids) they are resource officers and they are
building relationships with our kids,” Armstrong commented.
A report on state aid payments to the district was rendered and district
business manager Kenda Terrones reported an increase of up to $50,000 for
the district of a total allocation of state aid funding of $13,087,984.
There are 512 school districts statewide, that receive state funds and
locally it was reported to the board that here in Creek County only Sapulpa,
Kiefer and Oilton districts received increases in state aid at the midterm.
Many brick and mortar schools across the state have been losing stu-

B.O.E. CONTINUED ON PAGE A8

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Sapulpa Daily Herald

Sapulpa School Board CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1

dents to virtual online schooling. leading online school in the Sooner SPS reported satisfaction with the
Sapulpa offers online schooling to com- State) was “under 30 percent.” District’s current internet services
pete with the EPIC (and others) internet The Sapulpa Herald inquired as to provider Cox Communications and in a
schooling and currently SPS has 80 stu- Sapulpa High’s graduation rate and comparison with several other internet
dents enrolled in online only schooling. Superintendent Rob Armstrong replied, providing companies offering services,
The school board was informed that on “Our graduation rate (for 12th grade Cox was rated 99 of 100 points far bet-
average most of Sapulpa’s online stu- students) is 90.2-percent.” ter rated than any other comparison. The
dents do their homework assignments Sapulpa school’s 2018-2019 working district recommended continuing with
between the hours of 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. budget showed that the district’s single Cox as the service provider and the orig-
A particular point of contention largest expense was in employee inal five year contract with Cox will end
raised last week is that online schools salaries a sum given as $19,750,000. and be up for renewal in 2020.
receive the same per student dollars as Additionally employee benefits is the The school board recognized and
brick and mortar schoolhouses, however second largest expense and this dollar thanked the Bartlett Foundation for con-
online schools do not have infrastruc- figure was reported at $5,700,000. tinuing support of education here.
ture costs associated with classroom “Ninety cents of every dollar is spent Bartlett is giving $233,710 (see story in
buildings and transport costs. on salaries and benefits,” Armstrong this edition of the Sapulpa Herald). “We
Online schools that snare students commented. are blessed that they provide not only
onto their rolls prior to October 1 Other budgetary expenses referenced scholarships to our seniors but these
receive a $900 bonus from the state included an expenditure of $80,000 in (yearly) grants a recurring benevo-
which was characterized as “incentiviz- the working budget for property expens- lence,” Armstrong said.
ing” these entities to enroll children es (mainly maintenance and lawn “This is fantastic. We are lucky to
onto online schooling. upkeep) and a $1million dollar figure of have this,” B.O.E. Chair Melinda Ryan
Schoolboard member Larry Hoover classroom supplies. For the fiscal year said of the Bartlett gift.
asked about EPIC graduation rates. 2019-2020 budget SPS will maintain
Terrones in answer said that EPIC’s (the carryover funds of 8.7-percent.

Oklahoma’s State House and Senate file bills


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Jan 2019 Page resized
24 0013 66%

The Hobart Democrat Chief

Common Good By State Rep. David Perryman

Button, Button absent at school has remained are allowed to establish their meister and more than $11,000
constant for a hundred years own method of counting atten- to State Attorney General Mike
What do Louisa Mae Alcott’s or more. At the beginning of a dance, schools that are able to +XQWHUµ 2WKHU UHFLSLHQWV LQ-
´/LWWOH 0HQµ ´:LOOLH :RQND school day and at every class XVHLWIRUWKHLUEHQHÀWZLOODOOWR cluded Governor Kevin Stitt and
DQGWKH&KRFRODWH)DFWRU\µ'D- period throughout the day, a WKH ÀQDQFLDO GHWULPHQW RI WKRVH more than 50 legislative candi-
YLG %RZLH LQ ´/DEU\QWKµ DQG student is either present or ab- public brick and mortar schools dates.
:DOW'LVQH\·VYHUVLRQRI´$OLFH sent or tardy. With the advent of who will consequently receive a This session, Sen. Ron Sharp,
LQ:RQGHUODQGµDOOKDYHLQFRP- ´YLUWXDOµVFKRROVIDFWVJHWDOLWWOH smaller piece of the same fund- a former teacher from Shawnee
mon? fuzzy. ing pie. KDVÀOHG6HQDWH%LOOLQDSXVK
They all contain a reference According to a 2016 Okla- While proponents, like the for more transparency in the
to the age old children’s game, homa Watch article by Jennifer Epic Virtual Charter School Su- truth behind attendance num-
“Button, Button, who’s got the 3DOPHU ´:LWK QR VHDWV WR ÀOO perintendent have been quoted bers.
Button? Over the past 150 years, and no roll to call, ‘attendance’ as saying, “When they’re en- The Bill would require virtu-
very few of us made it past el- in virtual education takes on rolled in an online course, they al charters to submit attendance
ementary school without con- D GLIIHUHQW PHDQLQJµ ,Q IDFW are considered in attendance; records of enrolled students to
fronting the task of attempting Palmer reported that in the pre- ZHMXVWIROORZWKHODZµKROGLQJ the student’s resident district.
to locate that evasive, hidden vious year, every single one of virtual charter schools account- Sen. Sharp hopes to eliminate
button. the state’s virtual charter schools able by changing the law may the current situation where hun-
Over the past decade, Okla- reported near perfect attendance EH PRUH GLIÀFXOW WKDQ LW ZRXOG dreds of kids are falling through
homa’s education budget has with two, including the state’s seem. In November 2018, Palm- the system and no one knows
given Button, Button a whole largest, reporting 100 percent at- er, in another Oklahoma Watch where they are.
new perspective. With daily at- tendance for the entire school… article, reported that support- How far his bill will go re-
tendance being a primary factor FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR!!!! ers of the state’s largest virtual mains to be seen. Much de-
LQWKH´JDPHµRIVFKRROIXQGLQJ Now we’re not talking a drop FKDUWHUVFKRROKDG´UDPSHGXSµ pends on whether virtual charter
the concept of whether a student in the bucket. Last year, virtual political contributions to elected schools will be made account-
LV´SUHVHQWµRU´DEVHQWµFDQOLW- charter schools reported a state- RIÀFLDOV WR WKH WXQH RI DW OHDVW able regarding attendance num-
erally shift millions of education wide combined K-12 enrollment $145,000, arguably to keep in bers or if their generous and
dollars from some schools to of nearly 12,000 students. place status quo policies that well placed political contribu-
others. With that much money in The natural question is, why KDUP´EULFNDQGPRUWDUVFKRROVµ tions will allow them to perpetu-
the balance, it is inevitable that should Oklahomans care? Fact across the state. ate a costly and wasteful version
rules are stretched, twisted and is, so long as funding of our For instance, the founders of Button, Button, Who’s Got
sometimes broken. public schools is based at least of Epic made donations that in- the Button?
For brick and mortar schools, in part on daily attendance and cluded “a combined $23,800 for Questions or Comments
the concept of being present or so long as virtual charter schools State Superintendent Joy Hof- VKRXOGEHGLUHFWHGWR'DYLG3HU-
ryman@OkHouse.gov or 405-
557-7401.

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Kiowa County Democrat

For the Common Good


n,

n,
by State Representative David Perryman
Jan w,
e-
24 d,
Button, Button
What do Louisa Mae Alcott’s “Little Men,” “Willie Wonka
2019 e,
and the Chocolate Factory,” David Bowie in “Labrynth,” and Walt
-
Disney’s version of “Alice in Wonderland” all have in common?
Page p, They all contain a reference to the age old children’s game, “But-
0002 e ton, Button, who’s got the Button? Over the past 150 years, very
d few of us made it past elementary school without confronting the
Clip task of attempting to locate that evasive, hidden button.
resized Over the past decade, Oklahoma’s education budget has given
41% r,
Button, Button a whole new perspective. With daily attendance
y- being a primary factor in the “game” of school funding, the
concept of whether a student is “present” or “absent” can literally
., shift millions of education dollars from some schools to others.
), With that much money in the balance, it is inevitable that rules
are stretched, twisted and sometimes broken.
For brick and mortar schools, the concept of being present
s,
or absent at school has remained constant for a hundred years or
more. At the beginning of a school day and at every class period
l-
throughout the day, a student is either present or absent or tardy.
0
With the advent of “virtual” schools facts get a little fuzzy.
s,
According to a 2016 Oklahoma Watch article by Jennifer
0
Palmer, “With no seats to fill and no roll to call, ‘attendance’ in
virtual education takes on a different meaning.” In fact Palmer
reported that in the previous year, every single one of the state’s
virtual charter schools reported near perfect attendance with two,
including the state’s largest, reporting 100 percent attendance for
the entire school…FOR THE ENTIRE YEAR!!!!
Now we’re not talking a drop in the bucket. Last year, virtual
charter schools reported a statewide combined K-12 enrollment
of nearly 12,000 students.
The natural question is, why should Oklahomans care? Fact is,
so long as funding of our public schools is based at least in part on
daily attendance and so long as virtual charter schools are allowed
to establish their own method of counting attendance, schools that
are able to use it for their benefit will, all to the financial detriment
of those public brick and mortar schools who will consequently
receive a smaller piece of the same funding pie.
While proponents, like the Epic Virtual Charter School Super-
intendent have been quoted as saying, “When they’re enrolled in
an online course, they are considered in attendance; we just follow
the law,” holding virtual charter schools accountable by changing
the law may be more difficult than it would seem. In November
2018, Palmer, in another Oklahoma Watch article, reported that
supporters of the state’s largest virtual charter school had “ramped
up” political contributions to elected officials to the tune of at least
$145,000, arguably to keep in place status quo policies that harm
“brick and mortar schools” across the state.
For instance, the founders of Epic made donations that included
“a combined $23,800 for State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister
and more than $11,000 to State Attorney General Mike Hunter.”
Other recipients included Governor Kevin Stitt and more than
50 legislative candidates.
This session, Sen. Ron Sharp, a former teacher from Shawnee
has filed Senate Bill 56 in a push for more transparency in the
truth behind attendance numbers. The Bill would require virtual
charters to submit attendance records of enrolled students to the
student’s resident district. Sen. Sharp hopes to eliminate the current
situation where hundreds of kids are falling through the system
and no one knows where they are.
How far his bill will go remains to be seen. Much depends on
whether virtual charter schools will be made accountable regarding

e
attendance numbers or if their generous and well placed political
contributions will allow them to perpetuate a costly and wasteful
version of Button, Button, Who’s Got the Button?
Questions or Comments should be directed to David.Perry-
man@OkHouse.gov or 405-557-7401.

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Countywide& Sun

y y g
e “There may be someone that Expo Trust And City.......on A6

Senator Sharp Targeted


Jan
24

2019
In Opposition Research
By GLORIA TROTTER online.
Page
A01 A career teacher turned state sena- Assistant Superintendent Brent
tor is apparently being targeted for Houston responded to the request
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resized his concerns about charter schools with these words: “Dr. Sharp began
64% and their impact on public education his employment with Shawnee Public
in Oklahoma. 6FKRROVLQ$XJXVW+HQRWLÀHG
Sen. Ron Sharp, who taught more our district of his intent to retire
than 30 years in Shawnee Schools in July 2012 after 38 years of teach-
before retiring to run for the State ing high school social studies. His
Senate, has been stripped of his WHDFKLQJFHUWLÀFDWHLVLVYDOLG
longtime education committee vice through June 2019.”
chairmanship and singled out for That response was signed for by
opposition research despite the fact Jerome Trankle, who is with Axiom
he‘s not up for re-election until 2020. Research Group, which controls Can-
These actions came in recent weeks non Research Group. The Missouri
Times reported the acquisition of the
s
as Sharp continued to ask questions
about virtual charter schools and Cannon group, describing Axiom as
introduced seven bills that would “the largest Republican consulting
address funding mechanisms, at- ÀUPLQWKHFRXQWU\µ
3 tendance accountability and other The records request to the county
at areas of concern expressed by public was addressed to the “Pottawatomie
d school administrators he has been County Police Department” and
n working with. DVNHGIRU´DOOFLWDWLRQVÀQHVLQVSHF-
s, “We must increase accountability tions, violations or other negative
d and oversight of our state’s four pub- evaluations issued to or against”
lic virtual charter schools,” Sharp Sharp. It was signed by Ronnie Gran-
ut said in his weekly column to news- sky, who also could not be located
5 papers just before Christmas. online.
al Just a few weeks earlier, both the Melissa Dennis, chairman of the
d Shawnee Public Schools administra- county commissioners at the time,
tion and the county received Open said the county decided not to re-
y Records requests regarding Sharp. spond after determining that “was a
s Shawnee Superintendent Dr. April bogus name and a bogus address.”
d *UDFH FRQÀUPHG WKDW KHU RIÀFH UH- Employing a high-powered and
er ceived a request for “the existence H[SHQVLYH SROLWLFDO FRQVXOWLQJ ÀUP
H of Mr. Sharp’s initial application for two years in advance of an election
e- HPSOR\PHQWDQGDQ\ÀQDOGLVFLSOLQ- is unusual, and would be quite ex-
ts ary action.” pensive.
or The request was signed by Jamie Meanwhile, as Sharp was prepar-
VW Proser, a person they couldn’t locate Sharp Removed............on A2

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Countywide& Sun

Sharp Removed From Education Committee


ing his legislation, new school district to par- dred dollars to pay for
Senate President Pro ticipate in the extracur- computers, dance class-
Tempore Greg Treat ricular activities of that es, sports, even roller
was preparing his com- district. The bill failed skating.
mittee assignments. in committee. For the Although the schools
Although Sharp had upcoming session, he receive state funding,
been vice chairman of had a bill to allow funds f rom t he sa me pot
the education commit- IURPWKHÀYHPLOEXLOG- as traditional public
tee for some time, Treat ing levy to be appropri- schools, Epic is a for-
moved him this year ated to charter school profit company. Ben
to the judiciary com- districts, even though H a r r i s a n d Dav id
mittee. they do not have build- Chaney are the brains
Named chairman ings. behind the operation,
of the education com- The largest virtual which is patterned after
mittee was Sen. Gary charter school system in a similar program in
Stanislawski, who has the state is Epic Charter Florida that came under
been a champion of Schools with 14,000 stu- investigation in 2003
virtual charter schools. dents, which makes it for alleged bribery. No
He authored the Virtual the 11th largest district FKDUJHVZHUHÀOHG
Charter School Act in in the state. Students Epic has recently
2010 and then authored work from home but expanded to Califor-
an amendment creating are assigned to teach- nia, where it is again
the State Virtual Char- ers, who are paid well under investigation.
ter School Board, which above what ordinary And in 2013, then-Gov. eral. There have been no t heir families have
was “logrolled” into a classroom teac hers Mary Fallin asked for charges or announce- PDGH VLJQLÀFDQW FDP-
2012 textbook funding make and earn bonuses an investigation into ments since then, but paign contributions
appropriation. for student recruitment allegations of fraud. The recently the OSBI said to Treat, the State Su-
He also authored a and retention as well as Oklahoma State Bureau it is “re-interviewing” perintendent of Public
bill in 2017 that would student success. of Investigation spent a some of those involved, Instruction, the Gov-
allow charter school Students’ families year looking into it and according to Oklahoma ernor and the Attorney
students living with- receive an educational WXUQHGLWVÀQGLQJVRYHU Watch. General as well as other
in a traditional public fund of several hun- to the Attorney Gen- Epic officials and legislative candidates.

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