House Bill 1775: Separating Rhetoric and Reality  

Posted on 6.29.2021

By Brandon Carey  OSSBA Staff Attorney On May 7, 2021, the Oklahoma governor signed House Bill 1775, which included a detailed list of what teachers can’t teach in an Oklahoma classroom regarding race and sex. Fortunately for educators and for school districts, the toxic rhetoric around the bill bore little resemblance to the actual bill language.  Coming […]

Teacher Pay in 2021: Five Years of Progress

Posted on 5.4.2021

  For years, we’ve closely tracked how Oklahoma stacks up when it comes to teacher pay. The reason is simple: children need and deserve the best teachers. Oklahoma remains in a teacher shortage and must stay competitive to keep and reward the great teachers already in our classrooms. Just as important, our state must be […]

Michael Ray: Communities Rise in Crisis

Posted on 4.14.2020

An Open Letter to School Board Members:  Communities rise in crisis. We’ve seen it happen time and again. But rare is the moment every community in the country – and many throughout the world – find themselves facing the same crisis.  This public health emergency demands for leadership – and not just at the national and state levels. School […]

OSSBA Names 2020 All-State School Board Members  

Posted on 2.4.2020

Five Oklahoma school board members have been selected as the Oklahoma State School Boards Association’s 2020 All-State School Board for their outstanding service on their local school boards and to the state. Combined, the winners have served more than eight decades on their local school boards.  The honorees are: Jess Merriott, Stilwell; Stan Kline, Northwest Technology Center; Fred Sordahl, Pryor; […]

The Importance of the 2020 Census

Posted on 7.2.2019

By Rooney Virgin OSSBA Staff Attorney & Director of Government Affairs The United States Census is a decennial census mandated by Article 1, Section 2 of the U.S, Constitution, which states: “Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several states which may be included within this Union, according to their respective numbers […].”   The […]

State of Emergency: The Good & The Bad

Posted on 6.27.2019

The saying goes a picture is worth a thousand words, and here are two: This graphic almost needs no explanation. The single statistic of emergency teaching certificates issued by the state Board of Education shows Oklahoma’s teacher shortage has grown at a phenomenal rate. I have a spreadsheet that dates back to July 2012 tracking […]

A Message for School Board Members: Thank You

Posted on 1.9.2019

By Ed Tillery For the last decade as a school board member, the scenery in my rear-view mirror was more colorful and serene than the view in front of me. More school board meetings than I care to remember were spent discussing declining state appropriations for education and the inevitable budget cuts that followed.     As we look forward to 2019, […]

OSSBA Member Portal Upgrade

Posted on 9.18.2018

OSSBA’s new member portal has features designed to improve the experience for school board members and administrative employees of member school districts. While much of the member portal will look familiar and operates similar to the existing portal, we’ve also made improvements based on feedback received since we first launched the member portal two years […]

Private Donations to Public Schools 

Posted on 7.22.2018

By Kim Bishop, OSSBA Staff Attorney In the last few years, there has been a growing trend of individuals making private donations to public school districts and teachers. It is common for school foundations and PTAs to raise money for schools, mainly for extras such as school trips or playground equipment. Private donations are now being made to public school districts and teachers for day-to-day operational expenses. The internet has further enabled this trend by making it easy to donate to public schools and teachers.  Social […]

Employment Law Q & A 

Posted on 2.21.2018

By Jessica Sherrill, Director of OPSUCA and Staff Attorney  Can a support employee who is contracted for 150 days be terminated for cause without a hearing?  Yes, a support employee who has worked less than a year, or 172 days, can be terminated without any due process. In fact, school law doesn’t require the school to provide any reason for termination. The support […]