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OKC's Supt. Aurora Lora announces her resignation

Andrew W. Griffin / Red Dirt Report
Outgoing OKC Public Schools Superintendent Aurora Lora.
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OKLAHOMA CITY – Back in early 2017, Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent Aurora Lora was a guest speaker at the Oklahoma Conference of Churches Annual Day at the Legislature, talking about her role as an educator while lamenting the numerous obstacles she faced here as superintendent, since replacing Rob Neu, the superintendent who fled the district in early 2016. Initially, Lora had worked under Neu, beginning in 2014, before advancing to the top spot in mid-'16.

At the time, Lora spoke of teacher lay-offs, due to seemingly insurmountable budgetary issues. There was the issue of Texas luring Oklahoma teachers across the Red River to take advantage of better pay and opportunities in the Lone Star State. And she also spoke, as noted by Red Dirt Report reporter Bill O’Brien, of the “school-to-prison pipeline” in which “minority students are suspended or expelled from school and eventually find their way into incarceration.”

And while the news seemed bad last March, as Lora noted, brighter days were ahead, she told the audience with a tinge of hope in her voice. Upon arriving in Oklahoma City in 2016, she told the media that she hoped to be in the district for a “long time” and that she was “committed” for the “long-run.”

Alas, that day is still some ways off, in many educational observers estimation. And with today’s announcement by Lora that she is submitting her resignation as superintendent of the Oklahoma City Public Schools, while citing many accomplishments the district has achieved during her tenure, from implementing more rigorous standards at the high school level, to better prepare students for time after high school to passing a $180 million bond that has allowed the district to provide maintenance to aging facilities, purchase new school buses and update and upgrade school technology systems.

In her letter to the OKCPS School Board, Lora wrote: “This has been an incredibly challenging few years for districts across the state of Oklahoma, but I am proud of the work that we have done together to help our district stretch every penny and identify ways to save money by becoming more efficient in our operations. The lessons learned will allow us to reinvest more dollars back into classrooms when the funding returns.

Continuing, Lora wrote that with changes in the school board in the past year or so made her realize that “it is now time for me to step aside and allow you to come together as a team to find a leader that will be right for you as a new board.”

Concluding her letter, Lora wrote: “Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to serve the students and families of this community. Please know that Oklahoma City will always hold a special place in my heart.”

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Andrew W. Griffin

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Andrew W. Griffin received his Bachelor of Science in Journalism from...

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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