Walters Announces Guidelines For Tulsa Public School District; Calls For New Leadership

State Superintendent Ryan Walters laid down a list of guidelines and benchmarks for Tulsa Public Schools this upcoming year and called for new leadership while a vote on the district's accreditation status looms.

Monday, August 7th 2023, 10:15 pm

By: News On 6, Drake Johnson


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State Superintendent Ryan Walters laid down a list of guidelines and benchmarks for Tulsa Public Schools this upcoming year and called for new leadership while a vote on the district's accreditation status looms.

The announcement came Monday evening at the Tulsa Republican Party HQ. 

Related: Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Deborah Gist Responds To Walters 'Improvement Plan'

Walters, under his TPS Improvement Plan, said he wants to see the district re-orient finances to serve students, increase reading proficiency scores to the state average, and get TPS schools off the F-List.

TPS Superintendent Dr. Deborah Gist addressed the media just after 11 p.m. Monday to talk to parents and faculty about Ryan Walters' comments. She says she met with Walters in Oklahoma City last week where they talked for less than 30 minutes about his concerns.

Related: Ryan Walters Addresses School Accreditation In OSDE Meeting

You can watch the full press conference at the link below:

  1. WATCH: Ryan Walters Press Conference About Tulsa Public Schools



This comes after a slew of meetings over the past several weeks with the State Board of Education regarding that district's accreditation status. 

The State School Board plans to vote on the accreditation issue one week after school starts. An official vote date has not been set. The district's accreditation is currently in the warning status. 

The TPS district was found to have been in violation of House Bill 1775 last year, which regulates how sex and gender are taught in classrooms. 

TPS said it is facing two district-wide deficiencies and three warnings for individual schools. 

Related: 4 Tulsa City Councilors Write Open Letters About TPS Accreditation Issue

The state's Executive Director of Accreditation, Ryan Pieper, outlined some of the most aggressive action the state has taken against schools in recent history when it comes to accreditation, saying students are in a better place today because of it. 

The former charter school SeeWorth Academy lost its accreditation for the 2019-2020 school year, after the state said it wasn't complying with federal programs, and it impacted graduation credits.

Another situation involved the Western Heights School District in OKC, which was accredited with probation in for the 2021-2022 school year, after the state said the district had issues with financial audits, its nutrition program, and the district disabled the fire suppression system. It's the only district "takeover" Ryan Pieper can recall in state history. 

Related: State Accreditation Director Outlines Past Sanctions Against Troubled School Districts

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