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Blame the Legislature

August 15, 2012

The diplomatic thing to say would be that there’s enough blame to go around. We always want to do the diplomatic thing and look for ways that we all could make a bad problem not so bad.

This is not the time for that. Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent Karl Springer had a meeting tonight at Cleveland elementary to discuss the loss of science, art, and music positions. I wasn’t there, and I can’t speak definitively for anyone who was. I caught up on the discussion after the fact from the Foundation for OKCPS Twitter account.

Parents spoke. Kids spoke. They were passionate about the education they want. These are people who came to a publicly funded specialty school, enticed to stay in an urban district by the improvements from MAPS spending. Now they feel let down.

It sounds like Springer stood there and listened to concerned parents, as he is known to do. It also sounds like he explained in numbers how hard it is to manage programs in the state’s largest district in these times. The key statistic from tonight is that from 2008 to 2012, state aid to OKCPS has dwindled from $107 million to $92 million.

As I said, I wasn’t there. But I know who dropped the ball on this one.

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