TULSA — The decision to settle a longstanding lawsuit over the funding formula for charter schools in Oklahoma was rushed, ill-advised, and unconstitutional, according to the state Superintendent of Public Instruction, Joy Hofmeister.
It was brought forward by the board’s newest member, Trent Smith, just appointed by Governor Kevin Stitt in January.
“Lo and behold, right before the board meeting - the night before - there was a settlement offer that came in, and it was not something we could do because it violated the constitution, and state statute,” Hofmeister said.
But Smith called for a vote, and it passed 4-3, despite the warnings of Hofmeister and the board’s own legal counsel.
Now, local school districts across the state have gone to their boards to get permission to pursue legal action against the state board, something Dr. Hofmeister hopes can be prevented through legislative action.
“State school board members shouldn’t be doing the job of the legislature,” she told KRMG. “They don’t pass laws. That’s in the legislature’s purview.”