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Morning Bell: State board doesn't meet governor's order

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Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin gives her final State of the State Address in the House Chambers of the Oklahoma House of Representative on Monday, Feb. 5, 2018 in Oklahoma City, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin gives her final State of the State Address in the House Chambers of the Oklahoma House of Representative on Monday, Feb. 5, 2018 in Oklahoma City, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman

Good Wednesday morning! 

The state Board of Education has not complied with Gov. Mary Fallin’s order to identify districts that spend less than 60 percent of their funds on instruction. The board's attorney said her directive was confusing, reports Jennifer Palmer of Oklahoma Watch

In a six-page memo dated Aug. 30, attorney Brad Clark said that Fallin’s Nov. 21, 2017, order doesn’t clearly define “instructional expenditure” and the governor’s staff has so far been unwilling to clarify or modify the order, Palmer wrote. He also said Fallin lacks the authority to issue such an order.

School closure questions remain in OKCPS

School closures will be a big topic in the Oklahoma City Public Schools district this year. I spoke with one principal on Tuesday who said it was hard not to think about. Superintendent Sean McDaniel, speaking to school board members last week, said community input will be important as the district considers possible steps to address declining enrollment and the under use of some facilities. 

"Beginning today, this conversation becomes a very public conversation, which is what we're after," McDaniel said. "We want this to be transparent; we want the process to get us to that desired end, whatever that may be."

McDaniel said the ongoing project will "be informed by a thorough assessment of our facilities, a detailed demographic study, and input from our staff and stakeholders."

The district, which is operating about 60 percent of capacity, is facing $11 million in cuts to state aid over the next two years based on projected enrollment declines, officials said.

Former Tulsa teacher to enter HOF

Former Tulsa educator Amelia Louis Swain Alford will be inducted into the Oklahoma African-American Educators, Inc. Hall of Fame, reports the Okemah News Leader. The induction ceremony will be held at 7 PM on September 28, 2018 at the Oklahoma History Center in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. At 22 years old, Amelia was assigned to her first teaching job in 1945 at Waurika Elementary School in Waurika, Oklahoma.

Art contest is for young Oklahomans

Oklahoma artists who are 17 or younger can submit entries in an art contest sponsored by the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy (OICA). Art should be inspired by issues that are important to young Oklahomans and the state. Twelve pieces will be displayed in the OICA Daily Desktop Calendar, which is given to every state legislator, statewide elected official and the federal delegation.

Entries should be on 8.5-x-11-inch sheets of paper and mailed, flat and unfolded, by Sept. 30 to the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, 2915 N Classen Boulevard, Suite 320, Oklahoma City, OK 73106.

Multiple pieces may be submitted by one artist. Teachers are encouraged to submit work by their students. If art is submitted through a school, contact information for the teacher and the parent must be included so OICA can receive permission to print the artwork and cite the artist.

Sponsorships for pages of the calendar are available by contacting Nicole Poindexter at npoindexter@oica.org or 405-236-5437. The calendar has a child-related statistic and highlights a child-related organization on each day.


Related Photos
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin gives her final State of the State Address in the House Chambers of the Oklahoma House of Representative on Monday, Feb. 5, 2018 in Oklahoma City, Okla.  Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin gives her final State of the State Address in the House Chambers of the Oklahoma House of Representative on Monday, Feb. 5, 2018 in Oklahoma City, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-96fbcc1c96a4934450cefd8fb1127aeb.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin gives her final State of the State Address in the House Chambers of the Oklahoma House of Representative on Monday, Feb. 5, 2018 in Oklahoma City, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman" title="Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin gives her final State of the State Address in the House Chambers of the Oklahoma House of Representative on Monday, Feb. 5, 2018 in Oklahoma City, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin gives her final State of the State Address in the House Chambers of the Oklahoma House of Representative on Monday, Feb. 5, 2018 in Oklahoma City, Okla. Photo by Steve Sisney, 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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