Good Government

Jay Chilton | January 31, 2017

Staff Member at Taxpayer-Funded Organization Works to Oppose Presidential Appointment

Jay Chilton

Hayley Jones serves on the executive staff for the Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration as deputy general counsel. On her Twitter page, Jones describes herself a “Recovering middle school teacher turned education attorney/advocate for #oklaed.”

Jones tweeted mid-morning on Jan. 31 that she was watching coverage of the Senate Education Committee’s vote to approve President Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy Devos. Jones has tweeted numerous times in opposition to Devos, and commented that during the hearing she was yelling “as if I were watching a sports game.”

When liberal Senator Elizabeth Warren began her questioning, Jones tweeted, “Elizabeth Warren up now. GET 'EM. GET 'EM.”

CCOSA offers membership to administrative employees of Oklahoma public schools including district superintendents and their staffs, school principals and their staffs, and other workers within the public school system. Membership dues range from $375 for superintendents and central office staff, to $260 for directors of special services. Associate memberships are offered to non administrators for $100 each.

Memberships are commonly paid on behalf of superintendents, principals and other staff by the school district where the individual is employed using taxpayer funds intended for the education of Oklahoma’s students.

CIJ asked CCOSA if Oklahomans should be concerned that a lobbyist, employed by an organization funded with tax dollars, uses her position to oppose a president who was the overwhelming winner of the election in Oklahoma. President Trump received 65.32 percent of the vote in Oklahoma compared to 28.93 percent who voted for Hillary Clinton.

A CCOSA staff member indicated that all senior staff were out of their offices, and at the time of publication CIJ’s request for an interview had not been answered.

Jay Chilton

Independent Journalist

Jay Chilton is a multiple-award-winning photojournalist including the Oklahoma Press Association’s Photo of the Year in 2013. His previous service as an intelligence operative for the U.S. Army, retail and commercial sales director, oil-field operator and entrepreneur in three different countries on two continents and across the U.S. lends a wide experience and context helping him produce well-rounded and complete stories. Jay’s passion is telling stories. He strives to place the reader in the seat, at the event, or on the sideline allowing the reader to experience an event through his reporting. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from the University of Central Oklahoma with a minor in photographic arts. Jay and his wife live in Midwest City with three dogs and innumerable koi enjoying frequent visits from their children.

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