School administrator organization responds to lawsuit seeking the return of funds to state agencies

School administrator organization responds to lawsuit seeking the return of funds to state agencies

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (KSWO) – On August 9, Oklahoma City attorney David Slane filed a lawsuit with the Oklahoma Supreme Court seeking the return of over $140 million in unallocated general revenue funds to the agencies they were cut from.

The Executive Director of the Cooperative Council of Oklahoma School Administration (CCOSA) Ryan Owens addressed the lawsuit in wake of Governor Fallin's suggestion that the money be allocated towards teacher raises.

"Our organization supports the efforts of Mr. Slane. The lives of many Oklahomans were forever affected due to the cuts made during the previous fiscal year. Students missed opportunities as programs were cut and educators lost their jobs, burdens increased in many departments including Corrections and Health, and many of our most vulnerable citizens lost access to critical services. Last month we alerted our members to the legally questionable actions of the state Office of Management and Enterprise Services (OMES) and requested that the $140+ million overage of state general revenue funds, resulting from OMES cutting more than required by law, be returned to state agencies rather than being re-appropriated for a teacher pay raise. Allowing the Legislature to reconvene in special session for the purpose of reallocating funds which were unlawfully reduced establishes a dangerous precedent. These funds were already appropriated by the Legislature to specific entities and for specific purposes. There is still time to do the right thing. We respectfully request that OMES return the $140+ million to the agencies from which those funds were cut," said Owens.

The Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration is a not for profit organization which establishes close and continuous communication and cooperation between educators, taxpayers and legislators to improve the effectiveness of professional school administrators and to communicate the needs of the schools.

Copyright 2016 KSWO. All rights reserved.