Court halts TPS District 1 Board filing

Updated: Judge Daman Cantrell issued a temporary Restraining Order (TRO) on Wednesday in Tulsa County regarding the conundrum created by the lack of known boundaries for District 1 of the Tulsa School District in time to comply with the nomination process which closed Wednesday according to state statute.  Judge Cantrell wrote, “The Court finds grounds to grant a temporary stay of the current deadline for filing to run for the Tulsa Public School Board District 1 until the parameters of the District have been resolved.”   

The election primary for Tulsa School Board District 1 is February 14th and candidates were required to file by Wednesday, December 7 without knowing the boundaries that determine eligibility for the position. On Wednesday Maria Mercedes Seidler, Chief Counsel, Legal Overwatch for Parents’ School Rights, filed a motion for the TRO on behalf of Scott Carson and David Arnett.

The case involves a conflict in the implementation of four statutory provisions:

  • Statutory Provision 1: Candidates for nomination to school board seats must live in the district for which they seek election. 26 OK Stat § 26-13A-106 (2021)
  • Statutory Provision 2: School boards must draw the boundaries for districts within one year after the national census. Because the national census was delayed due to COVID, the Tulsa School District has until December 31st determine the boundaries of districts for the Tulsa School Board. The Tulsa School Board has not yet finalized the boundaries for District 1. 70 OK Stat §70-5-107A 
  • Statutory Provision 3: District 1 is scheduled for election, the primary for which is required by statute to be held on the second Tuesday in February (February 14, 2023). 26 OK Stat §26-3-101 (2020)
  • Statutory Provision 4:  Candidates shall file on the first Monday in December through the following Wednesday.  26 OK Stat §26-13A-105

The Tulsa School Board is scheduled to again consider the boundaries for District 1 at this Thursday’s special meeting.

The documents in Case No. CV-2022-2483 follow:

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