Mayor G.T. Bynum Calls For State Board Of Education To Accredit Tulsa Public Schools

Tulsa Mayor GT Bynum met with TPS board members and State Superintendent Ryan Walters on Friday and in a letter to the SBOE, said the City of Tulsa does not seek a potential state takeover of the district and he wants TPS to be accredited during Thursday's vote.

Friday, August 18th 2023, 1:22 pm

By: News On 6


In a letter to the State Board of Education on Friday, Mayor GT Bynum asked members to accredit Tulsa Public Schools and said the City of Tulsa does not seek, want or need a state-mandated takeover.

Mayor Bynum made the two-page letter available on social media Friday afternoon.

This morning I hosted a meeting between Tulsa Public Schools Board President Stacey Woolley, Vice President John Croisant, State Superintendent of Education Ryan Walters, and Oklahoma State School Board Member Don Burdick. I appreciate the time and candor each participant brought to the discussion, and believe there is a sincere desire to work together to deliver a great education for students in Tulsa Public Schools.
Following that meeting, I sent this letter to members of the State Board of Education in advance of their meeting next Thursday.

You can read the full letter below.

State Superintendent Ryan Walters announced his guidelines and benchmarks for Tulsa Public Schools on August 7 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.

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

The announcement came 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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