Governor Stitt has signed an executive order declaring all 77 Oklahoma counties to be under a state of emergency due to recent extensive storm and flood damage. At the time of this writing, our state has schools literally underwater or facing that possibility.The executive order pursuant to the Oklahoma Emergency Management Act of 2003 allows state agencies, including local political subdivisions, to make emergency purchases and to take actions necessary to facilitate getting various types of assistance from state and federal authorities. Statutory provisions of the Act may be found here.
Similarly, boards of education facing individual emergency situations at other times may use a process to ensure they have quick access to help with cleanup, remediation and other matters. By a 2/3 majority vote of the board declaring that an emergency exists within the school district, officials can move forward without having to adhere to the normal requirements of competitive bidding, for example. This can be critical to a school’s ability to salvage and move forward after a crisis. The statutory provisions of the Public Competitive Bidding Act as pertains to emergencies may be found here.
House Bill 1023 of the Oklahoma Legislature's 2nd Extraordinary Session gives us several considerations to take into account in the early preparation of budgets. The biggest consideration will be working within the currently passed law.
We all have those people who say, ‘Well, back in my day…’ and then begin to tell you how it was in the good old days or the bad old days. We are working in a unique time and place in Oklahoma history; I believe we have probably seen more changes to budget allocations in the past three years than probably in any three-year period of history. This has truly been a wild ride and not in a fun way.
As we mentioned in our previous blog post, we will be highlighting a few of the valuable products and services that OPSRC offers to public schools throughout the state.