OSSBA Launches School Board Candidate Information Sessions

Posted on 10.10.2023
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The Oklahoma State School Boards Association is hosting five virtual information sessions for Oklahomans interested in serving on a local school board.  The first three “So You Want to be a School Board Member?” sessions – at 6 p.m. Oct. 24, noon Nov. 15 and 6 p.m. Nov. 30 – are free and open to anyone who wants to learn more about school board service. […]

Teacher Staffing Survey Shows Record Vacancies

Posted on 9.14.2022

Annual OSSBA Survey Tracks Teacher Shortage Challenge A new survey shows the struggle to recruit and retain educators in Oklahoma is reaching new levels.  Oklahoma schools reported 1,019 teaching vacancies as the 2022-2023 school year began even as they are on pace to employ record numbers of emergency certified teachers and plan to expand the […]

From the President: Brag a Little

Posted on 2.3.2022

By W. Scott Abbott There’s not just a single defining moment in my more than two decades serving on the school board in Fort Gibson that stands a lasting reminder of the importance of the work we do in helping educate the children of our communities. For me, it’s actually a moment that happens every […]

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, […]