The Oklahoma State Board of Education has approved an order requiring the Oklahoma State Department of Education’s finance team to schedule an in-person meeting with Tulsa Public Schools by December 8th.
The ongoing financial concerns surrounding Tulsa Public Schools (TPS) have prompted the Oklahoma State Board of Education (OSBE) to take action. In a recent meeting, the OSBE approved an order that sets a deadline for an in-person meeting between the finance teams of both entities. This move comes after multiple attempts to schedule a meeting were met with postponements and excuses from TPS officials. The OSBE is seeking to address TPS’ financial issues and ensure compliance with accreditation requirements.
1: TPS’ Requirement for Internal Controls to Prevent Embezzlement
As part of its accreditation, Tulsa Public Schools is required to develop and publish new internal controls aimed at preventing embezzlement. The OSBE believes that an in-person meeting between the finance teams of TPS and the Oklahoma State Department of Education is necessary to discuss these controls and ensure their implementation. The OSBE’s General Counsel, Bryan Cleveland, expressed frustration with the delays in scheduling the meeting, stating that two months should be sufficient time for TPS to comply with the request.
2: Attempts to Schedule the In-Person Meeting
Despite the OSBE’s efforts, scheduling an in-person meeting between the finance teams of TPS and the Oklahoma State Department of Education has proven challenging. Emails obtained by the Tulsa World indicate that only one meeting has been scheduled thus far, which was set for November 15th. However, two days before the scheduled meeting, the OSDE Finance and Accounting Program Manager, Katherine Black, offered to postpone it until after Thanksgiving. This was to allow TPS more time to provide additional information regarding purchase orders and vendor payment documentation. As of now, the meeting has not been rescheduled.
3: Concerns Over TPS’ Finances
The delays in scheduling the in-person meeting have raised concerns about the financial state of Tulsa Public Schools. The OSBE is keen on addressing these concerns and ensuring that TPS is in compliance with accreditation requirements. The meeting between the finance teams would provide an opportunity to discuss TPS’ financial situation, identify any issues, and work towards finding solutions. The OSBE is committed to supporting TPS in its efforts to improve its financial management.
4: Implications for TPS and the Education System
The outcome of the in-person meeting between the finance teams of TPS and the Oklahoma State Department of Education will have significant implications for both entities. For TPS, it is an opportunity to address any financial shortcomings and implement stronger internal controls to prevent embezzlement. It will also determine whether TPS remains in compliance with accreditation requirements. For the education system as a whole, this case highlights the importance of financial transparency and accountability in ensuring the effective management of public funds.
Conclusion: The Oklahoma State Board of Education’s decision to set a deadline for an in-person meeting between the finance teams of Tulsa Public Schools and the Oklahoma State Department of Education reflects the seriousness of the financial concerns surrounding TPS. The delays in scheduling the meeting have raised questions about TPS’ financial management and compliance with accreditation requirements. The outcome of the meeting will have far-reaching implications for TPS and the education system, emphasizing the need for transparency and accountability in managing public funds. It is crucial that both entities work together to address these concerns and find solutions that will ensure the financial stability and success of Tulsa Public Schools.