Parents upset with TPS District 7 school board rep
BY ANDREA EGER World Staff Writer
Saturday, March 09, 2013
3/09/13 at 7:19 AM
Parents from the Memorial High School feeder pattern are organizing a meeting to air their grievances about their school board representative.
Lois Jacobs, who was elected in February 2010 to a four-year term in District 7, voted no this week to a $38 million technology and safety bond proposal and to the calling of a bond election on May 14.
That was the final straw for Sally Perez, community relations chairwoman for the Memorial High School PTA.
"Without a doubt, the bond vote was it - that and her not being able to explain her reasons why," Perez said. "I am working on setting up an online petition to see if there is enough support to ask her to resign."
Perez has organized a meeting for 4 p.m. Monday at Memorial and parent groups from several feeder elementary schools, including Carnegie and Grissom, as well as a magnet school nearby, Thoreau Demonstration Academy, are inviting their members.
On a couple of occasions last year, Perez said the Memorial PTA invited Jacobs to meet with their board members so they could share with her their opinions on controversial issues, including a new high school uniform policy.
But she said their wishes seemed to fall on deaf ears.
"The best example is high school uniforms," Perez said. "We are her only high school and she asked how we felt about the uniforms and our PTA board was unanimous in supporting the policy. She even asked, 'So you want me to vote yes for uniforms?' And we said 'Yes' and she voted no - with no explanations as to why."
In June 2011, then-Board President Brian Hunt publicly questioned Jacobs' lack of participation after she established a record of abstaining from votes and then chose to sit out on the board's annual evaluation of Superintendent Keith Ballard.
For example, she had abstained from voting on the adoption of a preliminary budget for fiscal year 2012, and at one meeting alone abstained from four of seven votes taken.
Since then, Jacobs has often stood alone in voting "no" to various questions before the school board but has never commented about her reasons for doing so.
Recent examples include routine approval of the latest series of 2010 voter-approved bond funds in February and the January formalization of a resolution agreement with the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights to ensure compliance for required translation services for non-English speakers.
In August, Jacobs voted against once-a-month early release days for students to allow for more teacher professional development time, a common practice in suburban schools.
In July, she was the lone opponent to TPS signing on as a partner in the Community Action Project of Tulsa County's bid for a federal grant to improve educational and developmental outcomes for youths in two of the city's most distressed neighborhoods.
Jacobs did not respond to a call for comment for this story.
Original Print Headline: Parents upset with school board rep
Andrea Eger 918-581-8470
Lois Jacobs: She voted no this week to a $38 million technology and safety bond proposal, which parents say was "the last straw."