Monday, October 18, 2010

Is it true that rogue districts' only choice was ignoring state law?

Dr. Cathy Burden, Superintendent for Union Public Schools, is quoted in a Fox 23 news story, "We do not have any status to be able to bring a lawsuit ourselves. We would if we could have done that. We would have challenged the law in some other way. But we do not have's against the law to sue the legislature, so we can't sue the State of Oklahoma. We have to therefore find a way to take this into the court system"

This is the excuse given by Tulsa area school districts for secretly waiting until parents had transfered their children to private schools before telling parents that the districts are going to ignore House Bill 3393 and leave the parents in an impossible situation. Parents must now pay the tuition and pay to sue the districts.

Is it true that districts did not have any choice but to force parents to sue. Is it true that the districts "do not have any status to be able to bring a lawsuit?"

The answer can be found in a Tulsa World story from December 29, 2007. The story begins, "Tulsa Public Schools filed suit against the state and the Oklahoma State Department of Education ... in an effort to get the Charter Schools Act declared unconstitutional. Filed in Oklahoma County District Court, the suit seeks declaratory judgment, as well as a permanent injunction to halt the payment of state funds to charter schools that otherwise would go to TPS."

Attorney Doug Mann was the attorney representing TPS in their lawsuit against charter schools. One would think he might remember this case and that the school district was able to seek declaritory judgement by a court.

Attorney Bill Wilkinson who practices education law took issue on with House Bill 3393, calling it "a stupid peice of legislation," and with the Tulsa area school boards' refusal to follow the law. NewsOn6 reports that Wilkinson believes that "the law is the law, and he's baffled that districts are choosing simply not to comply with it."

NewsOn6 goes on to quote Wilkinson's thoughts on the behaviour of these rogue school boards, "I've never seen anything like it before. I thought it was a bad dream when I saw it reported on the news. It's just a terrible, terrible mistake."

NewsOn6 writes that Wilkinson told them, "The districts could have filed what's called a 'Petition For Declaratory Judgement.' He says that would have allowed a district judge to rule on whether or not 3393 is constitutional."

I would like to know the real reason why Dr. Burden and the superintendents from Broken Arrow, Bixby, Owasso and Jenks chose not to seek declaritory judgement as the Tulsa school board did in 2007.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...