DALLAS -- The Oklahoma City school board has rescheduled the district's sale of $90 million of general obligation bonds to Dec. 2 from Nov. 16, a school spokesman said yesterday.

"It was as quickly as we could get everything ready for the sale and complete the process," including legal work and printing, spokesman L.D. Barney said.

The bond issue, approved by voters Oct. 12 to finance capital improvements and equipment, has been under a cloud from an ongoing controversy over a cash management program.

Although school officials have repeatedly dismissed a connection between the cash management program and the sale postponement, industry observers said some traders and investment fund managers are concerned about the issue -- and that could result in a market penalty.

Last month, the Oklahoma City school board voted to refuse to pay the Internal Revenue Service more than $1 million in arbitrage profits, penalties, and interest for its involvement in a 1990-91 cash management program. That could result in the IRS taxing $30 million of previously tax-exempt bonds or blacklisting the district from certifying tax-exempt bond issues in the future.

Barney said the IRS still has not notified the district on what action it will take. The board also is waiting for an Oklahoma attorney general's opinion on the legality of its refusal to pay the IRS.

The district's general counsel has contended that the district cannot legally pay the IRS because it would use taxpayer funds for a purpose not in the public interest, and maintained that the district's financial adviser, Stifel Nicolaus & Co., should fork over the cash.

The board discussed the cash management issue in an executive session on Monday, but did not take action, Barney said.

Another board meeting is scheduled for Nov. 22. The agenda has not been prepared yet.

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