Sapulpa Parents Opposed To Bill Potentially Consolidating Schools
SAPULPA, Oklahoma - Parents in one Oklahoma community are saying no to a bill state representatives say will improve the education financial problems.
If passed, Senate Bill 1382 would consolidate dependent schools into larger districts.
Friday night in Sapulpa a special town hall meeting was full of parents hoping to hear directly from administrators and government leaders on what a bill like that would do to small-knit dependent school districts.
The general consensus from the parents, they don't want the bill to pass and won’t get any support from Lone Star schools parent like Margaret Ragsdale.
"I was frustrated. It seems like a typical government response to, instead of wisely fixing a problem," Ragsdale said.
She, along with the dozens of others who filled the Lone Star event center, said the bill, written by State Senator Brian Bingman, would destroy what makes Oklahoma's Organization of Rural Elementary Schools what they are.
"From what I'm reading, I'm not too happy with the bill,” said parent Jarrod Vanderslice. “I'm here to find out more information. To see what the state leaders have to say, see what our school has to say about it, and get to the bottom of it.”
The bill, as it's written, would require K- 8th-grade dependent school districts to consolidate with larger districts. The goal boils down to trying to save money - a shift like that could cut administrative positions.
“It's placing blame somewhere else instead of the legislature taking responsibility for putting us in the fiscal crisis. Let’s close schools, that'll solve our problems, and then that's not going to happen," said Allen-Bowden Public School District superintendent, Kelly Husted.
Opponents said, by forcing smaller schools into larger ones it may not mean the school building would shut down, but the fabric of what makes the school what it is would change.
Ragsdale said, "I really want for our local leaders, for senator Bingman, and for the people who helped to author this bill, to understand how it will impact us negatively."
People there said if the school goes, the community goes - and they won't give in without a fight.
We reached out to Bingman for comment but didn't hear back.