Forty-eight school districts in Oklahoma have sued to recover funds that were denied them over more than 20 years because of errors in the way the state distributed aid.
KWTV-TV reports that the lawsuit seeks to have the state recalculate state aid for the fiscal years 1993 to 2014 "to correct an acknowledged error of monumental proportions," the suit contends.
“We simply believe that what has happened to our children and our taxpayers is unfair and deserves to be remedied,” David Pennington, superintendent of Ponca City Public Schools, says in a news release.
The districts say that because of the calculation error, funds raised from local property taxes that should have remained with local districts instead were distributed to other schools systems in the state. The suit states that the Oklahoma Department of Education has conceded that it did not begin distributing aid correctly until February 2015.
"Between the 1991-92 school year and the 2014-15 school year, every disbursement of state aid to every district was based on erroneous calculations that were contrary to the state aid statutes and formula," the suit asserts.
Estimates of losses include $40 million in the Oklahoma City district; $13 million in the Midwest City-Del City district; and $13 million in the Ponca City district.
VIDEO from KWTV-TV: