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The Oklahoma City Public Schools Board of Education work session Tuesday was packed with presentations to bring board members up to date and to brief newly-hired Superintendent Sean McDaniel.

*See updated information below that was added the next day after publication.

These are notes taken as the meeting progressed. They are sketch notes taken during a full, fast-moving meeting. In no way are they comprehensive.

Please comment at the end of this report and tell us if you think these are helpful.


Acting Superintendent Rebecca Kaye leads off giving a presentation titled “State of Equity in OKCPS. The focus is on the latest test results in the district compared to the rest of the state.

English Language Arts shows a dramatic difference in the third grade considered to be key to further student success.

Highest-scoring group in OKCPS, white students, shows a 35 percent success rate where state-wide it is 48 percent among whites.

Hispanic OKCPS students show a success rate of 16 percent compared to Hispanic students statewide who achieved at 24 percent.

Black OKCPS students had a ten percent success rate compared to 20 percent statewide.

The PDF of the presentation Kaye used is below:

Equity Presentation - May 29, 2018, BOE Work Session

Kaye Presentation

Kaye answers Board member Carrie Coppernoll’s question about whether they measure charter school scores. Kaye’s answer is that they are not presenting charter school scores but the charters report to the state.

Kaye presents scatterplot graphs of performance comparing to other large schools in the state.

RK now focuses on the student discipline issue of 2016 where the OCR (US Department of Education Office for Civil Rights) found the district had been dispensing discipline disproportionate to race. Students of color were given far more suspensions than white students for the same type of discipline problems.

IMG_20180529_Board of Ed work session - 2
Acting Supt Rebecca Kaye leads off with a discussion of OKCPS Equity Policies and data. BRETTDICKERSON/OKCFreePress

OKCPS responded by creating the “School Climate and Student Discipline Department to lead the work to revise policies and implement improved practices district-wide.”

Board member Charles Henry is raising the issue of ISS (in school suspension) not being a learning environment for the students.

Board member Ruth Veales reveals that the reason she first ran for school board was that a family member was once given maximum discipline when the policy gave a range of possible options.

Veales is black and represents the historically black east side of Oklahoma City.

Kaye reports that before the OCR Resolution, “the average number of days missed for students of color was almost double that of White students.”

Chart for 2017-2018 shows that average days per suspension have shifted dramatically with black, Latino and white students all having close to the same averages.

Asian and American Indian students are higher.

Henry is raising questions about what the lower numbers are producing. Is it disruption in class?

Coppernoll is raising the issue that the percentages are not budging from prior years. Percentages are basically the same.

Kaye talks about research showing that students of color tend to be more mature and so can be perceived as more confrontive than white students.

Kaye says that they have teams researching what the reasons are for suspensions.

Board member Rebecca Budd is responding that there are the most infractions at the middle school level. Some of it could be because of heavy turnover of principals and teachers.

Kaye points to data showing a decrease in the overall days missed from class due to discipline and shows that long-term suspensions had dropped from 326 in SY2015 to 85 in SY2018.

Kaye: “Headline is data has to drive our decisions.” “Intention does not excuse impact.”

District-level plans

Reimagine the Office of Student Support Services as the Equity Division

  • Evaluate departments with the purpose of meeting targeted student needs to restructure central office
  • Expand focus on School Climate and Discipline Department to incorporate Social and Emotional Learning
  • Establish clear interconnected relationships among Equity Division, Academics Division, and Schools Division

Six Equity Focus Areas:

  • Quality teachers and leaders: recruit teachers of color. Develop system similar to the bilingual pipeline.
  • Effective, culturally responsive instruction
  • Wraparound services and partnerships
  • Fair resource allocation – Kaye and Lora in the past have been hyper-focused on a mathematical formula for “staffing allocations.”
  • Data-driven decision-making
    Family and community engagement

Henry is asking if charters are sharing success plans. – No one has a clear answer.

Veales is pushing for taking best-qualified teachers and placing them in the schools with the greatest needs. Says that Ed Allen (teachers union president) has said that is not a problem.

Veales is saying that the most emergency certified and first-year teachers are in District 5 (her district). Need teachers that are qualified.

Kaye answers that past attempts to offer pay incentives have been unsuccessful in OKCPS because it needs to be high enough to provide a real incentive. The district does not have the money to do that. Only districts that have given $20-30K have seen a difference.

Veales is getting animated. “Equity is not a program. It is a way of thinking.”


Presenting: Jean Bostwick – Oklahoma School Finance Basics

The biggest concern is that the enrollment in the district is going down so the ADM and WADM are going down, too.

Showing the complexity of revenue formula funding.

Fund balances have to be high enough to get the district through about a six month period but can’t hold too much or the district has to start giving the money back.

Briefing on the new digital purchase request and how it speeds up the process.

Problems still at the site level.

We’ve not left money on the table in three years. (This happens when money that should be spent on programs is not requested in time and the district has to give it back to the state or federal government.)

Veales raising question about whether the money is being spent just to spend it or if it’s being used to improve the classroom.

Barnes explaining how the district is working to train staff to establish need.
Title I funds are more complex because of the number of approvals needed.

OKCPS Compact

OKC Public Schools Compact presentation – Budget Efficiency Task Force

Presenters: Task Force Chair Teresa Rose-Crook and Todd Lisle from the working group.

*UPDATE Note 5-31-2018, 8:52 a.m.: Originally, we had to report that the PIO for the district had not provided a PDF of the PowerPoint presentation used by the task force volunteers. Two hours after publication and 24 hours after the request, we received the PDF below.

Budget Efficiency Task Force Presentation - May 29, 2018, BOE Work Session-FINAL

Questions the compact pursued:

Does OKCPS have a financial need to reduce expenses?
Answer: Yes. Need to reduce 3.5 million deficit from 2018 to 2019.

Is the fund balance a viable source to cover needs? No.

The impact of not covering expenses adequately is a bond rating reduction, which increases the interest paid on bonds, which is how governments borrow money.

Example: AA bond rating vs. AA- bond rating + +700,000 interest on remaining 2016 authorization.

How can OKCPS meet financial demands?

End of Maps for kids remainder for OKCPS is $1.2 million and that will be transferred to OKCPS.

Implement facility usage rental program which is expected to bring in $250,000. Tulsa held up as an example.

Less than 0.7 percent is the remaining shortfall.

Recommendations: Fund balance policy. Develop a three-year operating budget. Provide additional financial budget staffing and support. Upgrade and centralize multiple financial practices. Develop a charter schools policy that provides greater equity in what the charters are paying for use of facilities, etc.

Rebecca Budd questions to presenters: Did you look at Aug 1st start date? The early start date produces expenses before the district starts getting state revenue.

Board member Gloria Torres asks for a board work session about the recommendations presented.

The Board adjourns without asking for comments from new Supt McDaniel. Then, they give him time to make a few remarks.

He says that he is impressed with the work that has been done by the various teams who generated the reports. And, he is impressed that there are board members who would ask these kinds of questions.

Last Updated May 31, 2018, 8:57 AM by Brett Dickerson – Editor