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Legislative Leaders Critical of TPS Lawsuit Against Charter Schools

Speaker of the House Lance Cargill and Senate Co-President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee today criticized Tulsa Public Schools’ lawsuit against the state’s charter schools law. The lawsuit’s goal is to get the Charter School Act, which allows charter schools to operate in Oklahoma and Tulsa counties, declared unconstitutional.

“Charter schools are an amazing success story in Oklahoma, with many charter schools excelling in areas where traditional, urban school settings have not. It is very disappointing that the Tulsa Public School District is pushing this misguided, anti-student lawsuit,” stated Coffee, R-Oklahoma City. “Charter schools provide a much needed complement to traditional public education, and give parents a choice and an alternative for their children. TPS should be working with the Legislature to expand the successful charter schools program, not attacking charter schools with a lawsuit.”

"The Tulsa School Board is trying to force a one-size-fits-all education system onto Oklahoma students, who all learn in different ways," said House Speaker Lance Cargill, R-Harrah. "Instead of imposing a monopoly on education, the board needs to accept that charter schools have been very successful in settings where unique studies and personalized attention have benefited students. After all, this is about getting Oklahoma's children the very best education possible, not nursing bruised egos."

Charter schools are public schools established by contract with sponsors, and are exempt from many state regulations. Oklahoma law authorizes charter schools in 12 school districts: Broken Arrow, Edmond, Jenks, Midwest City/Del City, Moore, Mustang, Oklahoma City, Owasso, Putnam City, Sand Springs, Tulsa and Union Public Schools.

These districts' boards of education, or the area CareerTech school boards serving them, may sponsor a charter school. Oklahoma law also allows a comprehensive or regional institution of Higher Education to sponsor a charter school in certain school districts.

For more information, contact:
Speaker of the House
Lance Cargill
CONTACT: Jennifer Mock
Oklahoma House of Representatives
Capitol: (405) 962-7679

Senate Co-President Pro Tempore
Glenn Coffee
CONTACT: Paul Ziriax
Oklahoma Senate
Capitol: (405) 521.5654