KGOU

Oklahoma City Public Schools

Capitol Hill Elementary School in south Oklahoma City.
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

Oklahoma City Public Schools superintendent Aurora Lora thanked voters yesterday for approving a $180 million bond issue.

"You know, it's been really wonderful. My phone was dinging all night with people just reaching out saying they're so happy for the school district,” Lora said during a news conference. “And for the teachers and students, just so that we're going to be able to address the issues that we've got, and really get focused on academics now.”

The Oklahoma City Public Schools administration building.
Oklahoma Watch

Data presented at Oklahoma City Public Schools' Monday board meeting show many of the district’s academic goals for the year were not met. 

The goals were set last year during the Great Conversation, which was a series of community meetings where parents and school staff produced goals for the district. They also agreed on specific skills they wanted each child to leave school with.

Gloria Torres, Oklahoma City Public Schools Board of Education, District 6.
Oklahoma City Public Schools

The president of the Oklahoma City chapter of the American Federation of Teachers is calling on an Oklahoma City Public School Board member to temporarily resign.

During Monday night's OKCPS board meeting, Ed Allen said Gloria Torres should step down over accusations she may have been involved in enrollment fraud at Oklahoma City Community College.

“I think it is appropriate – if any board member is under investigation for criminal conduct – that board member should not participate in any board activity until cleared by the investigation," Allen said.

Monta Johnson, a fifth-grade teacher at Adams Elementary School, passes out books to her class in Oklahoma City on August 3, 2016.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

Oklahoma City Public School Board members approved a $180 million bond proposal at a special board meeting on Tuesday. The bond will not increase taxes, and instead extends a bond that is set to expire.

Superintendent Aurora Lora said Oklahoma City Public Schools has dire basic needs throughout the district, and the new bond will address transportation, technology, and building maintenance issues.

The Oklahoma City Public Schools administration building.
Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma City Public Schools released a more detailed breakdown of its massive budget cuts Thursday afternoon, showing specifically how cuts could affect students this school year.

The district’s fine arts budget will be slashed by 50 percent. The entire library media budget will be eliminated, which will impact the purchase of new resources for all schools. The elementary school budget will be reduced by $10 per student – from $25 to $15 – affecting funds for classroom supplies and other needs.

Oklahoma City Public Schools Associate Superintendent Aurora Lora waits on Board of Education members to emerge from executive session during an April 25, 2016 meeting.
Emily Wendler / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

Friday morning the Oklahoma City school board named interim superintendent Aurora Lora to the district’s top job permanently. She’s led the district since the April separation agreement with Superintendent Rob Neu.

Lora said shortly after the vote she wasn’t surprised by the board’s decision, and plans to work with the community through a series of focus groups to make sure their voices are heard.

Capitol Hill Elementary School in south Oklahoma City.
Kate Carlton Greer / KGOU

The Oklahoma City school district says seven campuses will start and end their classes later in the upcoming school year, which will save about $700,000 in transportation costs.

The Classen School of Advanced Studies will now start classes at 9:10 a.m., along with Capitol Hill, Cleveland, Horace Mann, Kaiser, Mark Twain, and Westwood elementary schools. School will let out at 4 p.m.

With Robert Neu's departure, Associate Superintendent Aurora Lora has stepped into the superintendent's job on an interim basis.
Ilea Shutler / Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma City Public Schools acknowledged Tuesday that acting superintendent Aurora Lora has been working for nearly two years without the required certification.

Oklahoma City Public Schools Associate Superintendent Aurora Lora waits on Board of Education members to emerge from executive session during an April 25, 2016 meeting.
Emily Wendler / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

Oklahoma City Public Schools will end classes two days early this year. The final day for students will be Wednesday, May 25.

Updated 8:31 a.m.

The Board of Education voted 4-2 during a Wednesday breakfast meeting at the Faculty House in Oklahoma City to end the school year two days early as part of a cost-saving measure.

Emily Wendler / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

Students in Oklahoma City Public Schools are upset with the budget cuts their district is facing, and many walked out of school Monday in protest.

About 600 students at U.S. Grant High School rallied in the parking lot and chanted, “No ifs, no buts, no budget cuts” in protest of the district slashing $30 million from the budget. Protests also broke out at several other campuses.

"We don’t want budget cuts," senior Christopher Black said. "We want more funding to our education; to the future of America."

Interim Superintendent Aurora Lora talks with reporters Tuesday about the latest cuts to Oklahoma City Public Schools.
Emily Wendler / Oklahoma Public Media Exchange

Oklahoma City Public Schools announced another $10 million in budget cuts on Tuesday. 

Interim superintendent Aurora Lora presented a long list of things that will be eliminated or changed in order to achieve these cost reductions:

The Oklahoma City Public Schools administration building.
Oklahoma Watch

Oklahoma City Public Schools has reached a settlement with the U.S. Department of Education to address the disproportionate discipline of black students in the district.

Oklahoma City Public Schools superintendent Rob Neu speaks to reporters in August 2014, shortly after taking the position.
Oklahoma City Public Schools / Facebook

Less than two years ago, Rob Neu arrived from the Seattle area to become superintendent of Oklahoma’s largest school district, Oklahoma City Public Schools.

On Monday, news broke that Neu is planning to resign.

Oklahoma Watch

Updated April 15, 8:01 a.m.

The Oklahoma City Public Schools superintendent is "out of the office."

That's all the district's board of education said after meeting for five hours in executive session Thursday night to discuss the employment status of Rob Neu. After the meeting Board Chair Lynne Hardin said Neu has not submitted a resignation, but Associate Superintendent Aurora Lora has been assigned the additional responsibilities of superintendent in addition to her current role.

Ada City Schools Superintendent Pat Harrison says his district will save about $30,000 by cutting six days from the remainder of the school year.
Richard R. Barron / The Ada News

Oklahoma requires one of the shortest school years in the nation, in terms of instructional days.

But that hasn’t stopped a growing number of districts from ending their school year early this year or moving to four-day weeks to deal with cutbacks in state funding.

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