SEMINOLE, Okla. - The small City of Seminole is having a big battle over money. The school district is being offered tens of thousands of dollars and doesn’t want it. 

By the end of the year, students in Seminole will move into a new $21 million high school. And business and community leaders want someone new at the helm to go with the new school.

Right now, the district is operating under an interim school superintendent. So, members of the Seminole Community Education Association want to help pay for a search for a permanent superintendent. No strings attached.

“We’ll furnish the money to conduct the search, what the school board can’t afford we’ll pay for. Conduct a search nationwide for a new superintendent,” said Jack Mattingly of the Seminole Community Education Association.

The association even wants to help pay for a new superintendent’s salary to attract the best and brightest.

“We will pay the differential and salary it takes to get that high caliber person here,” said Mattingly.

But the school board said it doesn’t want the association’s money.

“We’re confused by that,” said Seminole City Manager Steve Saxon. “We’re not entirely certain. I think that the thought that was presented to us was that they didn’t want the teachers to perceive that they weren’t being valued as much as administration.”

School Board President Marci Donohoe said the board is satisfied with the interim superintendent.

“We currently have an interim superintendent that the board is extremely happy with. The administrators are happy with. The teachers are happy with. Community is happy with.”

“It’s frustrating,” said Mattingly. “We’ve come so far, and we want the best this community can get.”