Rebecca Kay is the new acting superintendent responsible for day-to-day administration of Oklahoma City Public Schools as the Board of Education begins the search for the next permanent superintendent.
Kaye has been chief of staff since January 2017 and will continue in that role as well as acting superintendent.
Aurora Lora stepped down as superintendent Tuesday after a series of missteps left her in a weak position with the public and several members of the Board. She had completed one and one-half years of a three-year contract.
Lora recruited Kaye from a similar position in Atlanta Public Schools in Georgia. That district is also a large urban district with 51,000. OKCPS has 46,000.
In response to questions from several media outlets, Chief of Communications Beth Harrison released more information today about the compensation history and arrangements to this point for Lora and Kaye during this transition.
• The specific terms and conditions of Lora’s resignation are still being negotiated by legal counsel and could be presented to the Board at the February 12, 2018, meeting.
• Her resignation is effective at the close of business on February 1. In accordance with board policy, she will be paid for accrued unused leave. Her employee benefits will remain in effect until February 28th.
• Lora will be compensated for accrued leave in accordance with district policy.
• She will not be paid the two-year $10,000 longevity bonus.
• As associate superintendent, Lora was paid $175,016. During the time that she assumed the duties of the superintendent for a few months in the spring/summer of 2016, she was not given any additional compensation.
• Lora’s salary at the time she was hired in July 2016 was $220,000.
• Her salary at the time of resignation in February 2018 was $220,000.
• The District will work with Lora to schedule a time that she can return her district property and gather personal belongings.
• Kaye will continue her duties as chief of staff, in addition to taking on the role of acting superintendent.
• The board will consider and may approve any changes in compensation for Ms. Kaye while serving as acting superintendent.
• Kaye is certified as a superintendent, as well as a principal in both elementary and secondary levels.
Harrison included the text from letters Kaye sent out to OKCPS personnel and to OKCPS parents.
The letter to personnel started with “Dear OKCPS family,” and the letter to parents started with “Dear OKCPS families.”
The first lines to personnel revealed much about the emotion some staff members are feeling about Lora’s departure, especially central office staff.
“Today is a day that we need to talk about feelings.”
“I am sad. I suspect many of you are too. Or you might be angry or disappointed or just plain tired. And that’s okay,” wrote Kaye.
In her letter to parents and children, she focused on the capability and possibilities of students and their parents in the district.
She closed with comments about her status as a parent of two OKCPS students.
“As the proud parent of two flourishing Gatewood Gators, I want you to know this is not just a job for me. Just like you, OKCPS holds the future of my family in its hands.”
No timeline has been announced for replacing Lora.