State Supt supports local districts against governor, state board in charter school flap

Hofmeister tells KRMG she’s hopeful the legislature can get the situation sorted out before it ends up back in court again

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.

In a lengthy interview Monday, she told KRMG that the settlement was essentially snuck onto the agenda for a March 25th, 2021 meeting of the state board.

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.”


Russell Mills

Anchor/Reporter/Show Host

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