1. USSA supports the development of a sustainable plan to increase operational funding for public school districts, placing Oklahoma first in the region in per-pupil investment by 2024.
2. USSA supports the ongoing full funding of health insurance for certified and support staff.
3. USSA supports legislation to protect and preserve the Oklahoma Retirement System as a defined benefit plan, and to provide a cost of living adjustment for retired TRS members.
4. USSA believes that all schools receiving public funding, including those that benefit from tax credits, should be subject to the same accountability measures as all public schools.
5. USSA supports the development of a student weight in the state funding formula for full time virtual students that is reflective of the reduced cost associated with providing full time virtual education.
6. USSA supports legislation that will give school districts an equal voice with city and county governments in the development and approval of Tax Increment Financing Districts that are financed by ad valorem revenue.
7. USSA opposes any legislation that would remove educational decisions from locally elected Boards of Education.
8. USSA supports legislation that will allow school districts to enter into partnerships with Oklahoma Higher Education Institutions of their choice to provide concurrent course offerings for high school students in district facilities. We support the expansion of current enrollment to for students beginning in the ninth grade, and we support partnerships with higher education that allow certified teachers to provide instruction in concurrent enrollment courses.
9. USSA believes that except for funding, the greatest challenge facing public education is the teacher shortage. To alleviate the teacher shortage, we support full reciprocity for all fully licensed teachers. We also support legislation to remove the three-year cap on earnings for retirees.
10. USSA strongly opposes any voucher legislation.
11. USSA opposes the expansion of tax credits for the Opportunity Scholarships Program and Educational Improvement Grants until legislation has been enacted that strengthens state oversight of the granting of the tax credits and the disbursement of funds.
The United Suburban Schools Association (USSA) has represented suburban school districts in Oklahoma since 1992. USSA is an incorporated not for profit organization. USSA is led by a board of directors composed of the superintendents from each member district. USSA defines success through the successes of its member districts. Whether it is through legislative advocacy, professional development, or focused member services, rest assured that USSA is "fighting for the future!"
Membership in USSA is determined by the Bylaws of the Association.
To be a member of USSA, an independent school district must:
- Have at least 3,000 students, OR
- Be located wholly or partially within 25 miles of the city limits of a major metropolitan area, OR
- Be approved for membership by a majority vote of the members of USSA.
No district with an enrollment over 25,000 is eligible for membership in USSA.
If you are interested in joining please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
It is no secret that Oklahoma is facing one of the biggest budget shortfalls in the history of the state. It is also no secret that this budget shortfall is drastically impacting state agencies that provide needed services to Oklahoma citizens; including the department of education, which is taking the brunt of the budget shortfall.
As our legislators prepare to resume their duties in February, it is important that Oklahoma public education leaders and organizations that serve and represent them do the children of Oklahoma justice by standing up for legislation that promotes equality. At the core of public education, is a system created to serve EVERY child, no matter race, religion, or disability.
School vouchers, will once again be introduced and touted by lawmakers and their proponents as a way to improve education in Oklahoma. There is not an educator in Oklahoma who doesn’t want to improve education services to all Oklahoma children, but vouchers simply do not promote equality.
For example if the state gives a child $4400 to attend a private school and the private school does not have the same state and federal reporting standards or testing standards as public schools, there is no way in which you can fairly evaluate how the $4400 is being used to serve the student; there is no measurement and accountability, all of which is required of public schools.
Another reason vouchers do not promote equality is that they continue to erode school funding and reduce educational standards in a time when cash strapped school districts across the state cannot afford additional cuts. This leaves public school districts left with trying to provide existing and new educational services with fewer financial resources all while being held to the same level of accountability.
The United Suburban Schools Association represents over 350,000 Oklahoma public school students, primarily in large, suburban school districts. USSA members firmly support that all schools accepting public money shall be expected to participate by the same standards and rules as the state’s public schools.
Our children deserve nothing less than the best education. We cannot continue to deplete the financial resources that serve to support the foundation of who we are as a state and a nation. It is time we stand up for the equality of EVERY Oklahoma child!
Executive Director, USSA