Blackwell Schools needs board approval to accept donation

October 4, 2019 | Featured|Headlines

By SHARON ROWEN | KAY NEWSCOW

BLACKWELL — Blackwell Interim Superintendent Rod Reese confirmed today that Blackwell Public Schools has been offered a donation from Flippin Farms, but that he can’t accept the donation with out the approval of the school board.

“It is a decision for the board to make,” said Reese. Reese said he also needs to see if accepting a donation from a dispensary affects Federal funding.

The medical marijuana dispensary offered a donation to Ponca City Public Schools this week but the donation was declined.
On Wednesday, kaynewscow.com asked PCPS for comment but was told no comment.

On Thursday, Oklahoma City television station KFOR-TV contacted PCPS and superintendent Shelly Arrott issued the following statement.

“The Ponca City Schools appreciates the generous offer made from Flippin Farms; However, accepting donations from a medical marijuana dispensary is uncharted territory for Oklahoma school districts in relation to federal funding sources. At this time, the district cannot risk compromising these funding sources which are relied on heavily for the education of students. In the future, we would certainly appreciate the opportunity to work with Mr. Flippin to accept donations to help our students if it will not in any way jeopardize district revenue sources.”

Today, Lori Murphy, Assistant General Counsel, Oklahoma State Department of Education said that it appears there is nothing prohibiting a school district from accepting a donation.

“It does not appear to be prohibited for a public school to receive a donation from a medical marijuana business operating in compliance with the laws of the State of Oklahoma and to do so in accordance with their Board of Education’s policies and procedures. It would be advisable for any school district considering accepting such a donation to consult with their legal counsel, but after reviewing the relevant provisions we don’t believe there is a state or federal prohibition on a public school accepting a donation from a licensed medical marijuana business,” said Murphy. The next scheduled Blackwell Board of Education’s meeting is Oct. 14.

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