Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent Rob Neu unveiled a plan at the Oklahoma City School Board meeting Monday night to save the district from funding-related closures by converting some schools into charters.
Oklahoma City schools superintendent addresses closures, program reductions
Under one of the expansion plans being floated, John Rex Charter Elementary School officials are interested in adding a new middle school and high school downtown and possibly converting four existing elementary schools into feeder schools.
That plan would be funded with private and public money if approved, officials said.
“One of the alluring things about charter schools is the opportunity to solicit more corporate support, and that will alleviate some of the strain on the district to come up with operational money,” board member Bob Hammack said Tuesday.
Neu’s remarks followed the presentations of charter expansion plans by three current metro area charter school leaders at the board meeting.
Prior to the release of the charterization plans for Oklahoma City, John Thompson, who taught in the Oklahoma City system for 18 years, wrote an editorial showing, based on outcomes in other cities and with the local KIPP charter schools, that charters hurt poor children of color. He also offers an alternative:
Former OKC teacher: Low-income children of color hurt most by choice-driven reforms
The jury is in. Test-driven, choice-driven reforms hurt too many poor children of color. Non-educators who seek to improve our schools should abandon the competition-driven model and join the team effort required to build high-performing, high-poverty traditional public schools.