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Statewide Virtual Charter School Board Still Faces Problems

Lexie Flickinger
/
Flickr

The board of The Oklahoma Statewide Virtual Charter School faces an uncertain future in terms of their extended support from the State Department of Education due to unclear language in the bill that created it. The report to the board members was made Tuesday. 

The unclear bill, created two sessions ago, calls for the State Department of Education to provide staffing to the board until the end of this year but gives no indication as to whether the board has the authority to hire new staff or contract with the department for its current staff thereafter.

In June, the board also faced financial challenges that could have put funding allocations to their four virtual charters in jeopardy. That issue has been somewhat resolved, said Chairman John Harrington.

Conflicting opinions on the law between the State Department of Education and the Office of Management and Enterprise Services have led to the entities seeking an Attorney General opinion on the Virtual Charter School Board finances and authority.

SDE staff maintains the board is to operate independently from the department, while OMES officials say the board has no authority to expend funds independently.

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