From staff reports
Herb Rozell, a former Democratic state senator and Tahlequah resident, has resigned from the Oklahoma State Board of Education, saying he’s grown tired of arguing with people who don’t seem to care.
According to the Associated Press, Gov. Mary Fallin’s office confirmed Thursday Rozell’s resignation, which he tendered last month.
“I resigned for a couple of reasons,” said Rozell. “First, the Legislature passed a bill that would have all the board members replaced this August, and took away all the authority from the board, giving hiring and firing authority to the state superintendent.”
Rozell said the main reasons for his departure are the budget, and the state’s failure to properly fund teacher insurance benefits and stipends for National Board Certified teachers.
“I hadn’t received a copy of the budget, and asked for one the day before the meeting, because I wanted a chance to go over it before we voted,” said Rozell. “I didn’t get a copy until the meeting, and [State Superintendent Janet Barresi] just zipped through a lot of it and called for a vote. Well, while I was looking at it, I found those two things. I tried to get the vote split so that we would have more time to look at it, but it passed anyway. I decided since they were going to get rid of us in August, I didn’t want to make that long drive again for one more meeting.”
Rozell has been at odds with the board several times since Barresi took the helm, and said he’s tired of fighting.
“I don’t mind a fuss, but when you’re dealing with people who don’t care, I’m done,” he said.
Rozell is an appointee of former Democratic Gov. Brad Henry.
Republican lawmakers have since passed a new law that allows the governor to replace the seven-member board after taking office. Gov. Mary Fallin has not named a replacement for Rozell.