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The Morning Bell: Charters hit back in legal battle

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A charter school group suing the state for a bigger piece of the funding pie is accusing Oklahoma's two largest districts of including charter students for attendance purposes but not sharing the money with those schools.

In a response to motions filed by the Oklahoma City and Tulsa districts, attorneys for the charter group expressed "surprise" the districts "seek to intervene and object in a case about revenues that they have been receiving and retaining for charter school students without sharing those revenues with the public schools educating those students."

"In other words, OKCPS and TPS have wrongfully and intentionally been including charter school students in their (average daily attendance) for the purposes of falsely inflating their apportionment and distribution of revenue sources that are at issue in this case," the response states.

The Oklahoman's Tim Willert has more on the lawsuit and will be covering today's hearing in Oklahoma City. 

Virtual charter schools stand to receive the largest share of local tax funding if a lawsuit by a pro-charter-school group is successful, reports Jennifer Palmer of Oklahoma Watch

That gain could occur despite the fact that virtual schools have fewer expenses than brick-and mortar ones, with few or no buildings to purchase and no transportation to provide.

Thelma Parks returns the hug given her by a young student leaving the auditorium at the end of the assembly where Parks was honored. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman
Thelma Parks returns the hug given her by a young student leaving the auditorium at the end of the assembly where Parks was honored. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman

--'QUEEN FOR A DAY': Thelma Parks received a hero's welcome Thursday morning when she arrived at the elementary school in northeast Oklahoma City that bears her name.

Students and adults — some she taught — greeted the 94-year-old former teacher and school board member with a standing ovation during a ceremony to mark the school's 20th anniversary.

--WALL OF FAME: Staying with Oklahoma City school for a moment, the Foundation for OKCPS inducted four new members of the district Wall of Fame at an awards dinner last night: Dr. William Lee Beasley and Sherry Beasley, Thurman V. White Jr., and Pete White. 

--SKILLS GAP: Gov. Mary Fallin announced Thursday a goal to increase the number of paid internships and apprenticeships in Oklahoma to 20,000 each year by 2020 to help address the state's workforce shortage.

"Increasing the number of work-based learning opportunities in our state — for not only the youth but also our adults — is vital to ensuring that Oklahoma can continue to prosper and move forward," Fallin said.

--CHILDREN IN CRISIS: Oklahoma's children of color face major obstacles, writes Joe Dorman, who serves as CEO of the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy. In a column for NonDoc, Dorman wrote "a significant portion of our minority and immigrant families face challenges that would be rightly defined as 'crises' if they were affecting our majority white population on the same scale."

That does it for today's Morning Bell. Got questions, comments or story ideas? Send me an email at bfelder@oklahoman.com.

Have a great weekend! 

Related Photos
Thelma Parks returns the hug given her by a young student leaving the auditorium at the end of the assembly where Parks was honored. The school that bears her name, Thelma Parks Elementary School, is celebrating its 20th anniversary with special guests that included Parks,  a former teacher and school board member, and Thurman White Jr., a 2017 Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools Wall of Fame inductee who had Parks as a teacher. The event was held  in the school's auditorium on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017.  Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman

Thelma Parks returns the hug given her by a young student leaving the auditorium at the end of the assembly where Parks was honored. The school that bears her name, Thelma Parks Elementary School, is celebrating its 20th anniversary with special guests that included Parks, a former teacher and...

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-78226f2df10462b2fb16ce1a645d6954.jpg" alt="Photo - Thelma Parks returns the hug given her by a young student leaving the auditorium at the end of the assembly where Parks was honored. The school that bears her name, Thelma Parks Elementary School, is celebrating its 20th anniversary with special guests that included Parks, a former teacher and school board member, and Thurman White Jr., a 2017 Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools Wall of Fame inductee who had Parks as a teacher. The event was held in the school's auditorium on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman" title="Thelma Parks returns the hug given her by a young student leaving the auditorium at the end of the assembly where Parks was honored. The school that bears her name, Thelma Parks Elementary School, is celebrating its 20th anniversary with special guests that included Parks, a former teacher and school board member, and Thurman White Jr., a 2017 Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools Wall of Fame inductee who had Parks as a teacher. The event was held in the school's auditorium on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Thelma Parks returns the hug given her by a young student leaving the auditorium at the end of the assembly where Parks was honored. The school that bears her name, Thelma Parks Elementary School, is celebrating its 20th anniversary with special guests that included Parks, a former teacher and school board member, and Thurman White Jr., a 2017 Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools Wall of Fame inductee who had Parks as a teacher. The event was held in the school's auditorium on Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017. Photo by Jim Beckel, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure>
Ben Felder

Ben Felder is an investigative reporter for The Oklahoman. A native of Kansas City, Ben has lived in Oklahoma City since 2010 and covered politics, education and local government for the Oklahoma Gazette before joining The Oklahoman in 2016.... Read more ›

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