State Superintendent Ryan Walters Plans to Cut Ties With the OSSBA

KTUL - January 12, 2024 5:59 am

State Superintendent Ryan Walters is seen (KTUL).

State Superintendent Ryan Walters announced Wednesday a plan for the Department of Education to cut ties with the Oklahoma State School Boards Association.

He also wants to end OSDE’s association with the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration and the Oklahoma Public School Resource Center. “These organizations work in tandem with national extremist groups that seek to undermine parents, force failed policies into the schools, and work against a quality education in Oklahoma,” a press release from Walters office read.

The release said OSDE will “review the relationship” with the OSSBA and the informal agreements with CCOSA and OPSRC.

The agreements will likely not be renewed.

The OSDE plans to function as what it’s calling a “one-stop shop” to provide training, development and services. The agency claims organizations like the OSSBA, CCOSA and OPSRC work as “middlemen” and replicate services like professional development and school support, something OSDE already offers.

“For years, these groups have pushed an anti-parent, woke agenda. They have actively attacked parents and they seek to keep kids in failed situations. That ends now,” said Walters. “Districts and school boards should not have to purchase memberships to external organizations to receive the professional development and training they need to run successful schools.”

The OSSBA sent this statement to FOX 25 regarding the announcement,

OSSBA is governed by locally elected school board members, and we’re proud of the work we do to support students through the education and services we provide to the state’s 2,500 school board members and their school districts. We strongly believe that students are best served when parents, families, communities, educators, and education leaders partner together. We know that every day matters for students. They are counting on us all to work in their best interest, and we are committed to continuing to establish and strengthen collaborative relationships centered on student success.

The CCOSA sent this statement to FOX 25 regarding the announcement,

For the past five decades, the Cooperative of Council of Oklahoma School Administration (CCOSA) – an individual membership organization – has served Oklahoma students by providing resources, professional development and public policy updates to superintendents, principals, special education directors and other school leaders throughout Oklahoma. Last year, over 5,400 educators attended CCOSA’s professional development events to serve those members, focusing on topics such as school finance, special education law and teacher evaluations.

These resources have been made available to educators in coordination and collaboration with the State Department of Education for the benefit of Oklahoma’s 700,000 public school students. CCOSA has desired for continued partnership with the new administration.

As lifelong educators, we continue to encourage Supt. Walters and leaders at all levels to move beyond politics and prioritize public education with impactful investments and other support for Oklahoma students to succeed.

Fox 25 did reach out to the OPSRC for comment, but never heard back.

 

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