Okla State Board of Ed takes over Western Heights PS to ‘stabilize’ district

Okla State Board of Ed takes over Western Heights PS to ‘stabilize’ district

OKLAHOMA CITY (Free Press) — The Oklahoma State Board of Training (OKSBOE) voted unanimously Monday to take direct management of the Western Heights Public Faculties for one 12 months to “stabilize” the district.

The transfer is meant to deliver the district again into compliance with state accountability measures that each one public college districts should comply with.

The State Division of Training will appoint an interim superintendent and a crew to take management of the administration of the district.

The district, together with its board of training, won’t be able to make any selections with out approval by the OKSBOE.

Employees will contact legislation enforcement to implement entry for a full audit and short-term management of the district which is able to stay on probation.

The interim administration will report on to the OKSBOE because the district is introduced again into compliance with state legislation and governance duties to the taxpayers.

The OKSBOE has cited $32 million with no documentation to confirm fund balances as certainly one of many causes for doubt concerning the district’s board and management.

Working relationships between the district’s lecturers, employees, and the administration have soured up to now two years to the purpose that 37% of the employees have departed.

Contract negotiations between the administration, the board, and the unionized lecturers and employees of the district have been at an deadlock for 2 years — the size of time Barnes has been superintendent — which could be very uncommon within the state.

Actually, they’re the one district within the state to have two years in a row the place the unions and district have been at an deadlock.

The vast majority of districts throughout the state negotiate a contract and have it ratified by their unions and the board of training by the beginning of college every year. And most deadlock conditions are resolved inside the first few months of the college 12 months.

There are not any indicators that the district has accomplished any vital work for pupil remediation with COVID aid funds that they obtained.

But, despite these issues, clear violations of state legislation, and being on probation, the Western Heights Board of Training voted in June to offer Superintendent Mannix Barnes a three-year extension on his contract that amounted to shut to $1 million {dollars} and gave him a $25,000 “efficiency” bonus.

Disciplinary motion

Western Heights Public Faculties was placed on probation by the Board in April after listening to persistent complaints of misused bond funds, fiscal mismanagement, and a drain of lecturers, different employees, and college students out of the district. The western Oklahoma Metropolis district was given till July 8 to appropriate the issues.

As an alternative of constructing the corrections, the board filed a lawsuit in opposition to the state board of training on April 22.

Barnes had his superintendent certificates suspended in June for retaliatory conduct towards employees, fiscal mismanagement, and poor efficiency. Serving within the function since 2019, Barnes can not keep within the function having a suspended certificates.

But, Barnes has defiantly continued to carry the place with the Western Heights Board of Training help.

He has been dismissive of fogeys who’ve been complaining, the OKSBOE, and the State Division of Training.

Barnes was a member of that very same board earlier than it employed him to be the Superintendent of the district. He has no earlier expertise in training.

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Final Up to date July 12, 2021, 2:07 PM by Brett Dickerson – Editor

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