State education group files lawsuit seeking more money for Oklahoma schools

Thursday, January 12th 2006, 6:11 am
By: News On 6

The state of Oklahoma is slapped with a lawsuit over school funding. The state teacher's association, OEA, is suing the state to get more money for public schools.

News on 6 education reporter Ashli Sims says three school districts, including Jenks and Foyil, joined the Oklahoma Education Association in the lawsuit.

They claim state lawmakers aren't giving schools enough money to meet state standards. The plaintiffs are asking for another billion dollars in education money.

Now, they didn't just pluck that number out of the sky. It's based on several different studies by the National Education Association and an independent organization the state legislature commissioned. Both estimated that Oklahoma schools are under-funded by more than $900,000. They're also asking for several billion dollars to replace out-dated buildings.

Jenks is considered by most to be a pretty wealthy district, so why are they suing for more money? No doubt that's what opponents of this lawsuit will point out.

Jenks voters consistently approve bond issues that pay for new buildings, textbooks and other things. But after talking with Jenks' chief financial officer, she says bond dollars do not pay for utility costs or new teachers. She also says that Jenks is ranked 511th out of 540 when it comes to average state dollars.