Sparks were flying during a recent Oklahoma City Public Schools Board meeting and Acting Superintendent Rebecca Kay threatened to resign.
At Thursday night’s meeting, Acting Superintendent Rebecca Kay presented her plan for split classrooms when board member Mark Mann made a motion to find the money somewhere else.
“Basically it says come up with the money so we don’t have split classrooms,” Mann said in the meeting.
Because of lower enrollment the district will have an estimated $2.5 million dollars less next year. Kaye said splitting classrooms, meaning having two grades in one class is the best option to save that kind of money.
“I agree with you this is less than ideal” she told the Board. “There is no pot of gold sitting somewhere we can use.”
The only other option, she said would be to close schools.
“I’m going to tell you guys, some of you weren’t on the board, I stood up in front of my neighbors and proposed to close my own kid’s school and it sucked. And I don’t want to do that again and it’s not fair to talk about closing people’s schools without a process.”
In addition Kaye pointed out that staffing issues are the responsibility of the Superintendent. She and her staff have worked on the plan since January.
“I have to say that if this board is going to micromanage the district in this way and violate the policy that very clearly states that this is the Superintendent’s role I do not intend to continue as your acting superintendent.”
Kaye's frustration then turned to why she believes she is in this position in the first place.
“If you are not going to let us do our jobs you are playing into the cycle this district has been in since I believe, 1971. There is a reason I am the thirteenth person sitting in this chair since the year 2000.”
The motion 5-2 means the plan for split classrooms would move forward. News 9 contacted all the board members. Only Mark Mann responded in time. He said he thought Kaye was unprofessional but they need to move on. He also said there are a lot of ways to shift money in the budget.