Oklahoma House Democrats Renew Call for Special Bipartisan House Committee Investigating Misuse of Funds by State Department of Education

Thursday, 28 March 2024 07:59

Oklahoma House Democrats Renew Call for Special Bipartisan House Committee Investigating Misuse of Funds by State Department of Education Featured

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OKLAHOMA CITY – In response to reports that the United States Department of Education is investigating the Oklahoma State Department of Education, Oklahoma House Democrats are renewing their call from 2023 to create a special bipartisan House committee to investigate possible misuse and abuse of federal tax dollars.  

In 2023, House Democratic Leader Cyndi Munson, D-Oklahoma City, and the House Democratic Caucus called on the Speaker of the House to investigate OSDE and the State Superintendent.

“House Democrats have pushed for a bipartisan investigation into the OSDE for the past year regarding the misappropriation of taxpayer dollars,” Leader Munson said. “The Speaker and Republican supermajority have refused to act, which has continued to embolden the State Superintendent. We have seen essential employees and cabinet-level officials resign due to lack of transparency from the department. Now, we get to see what happens when federal grant money is misspent.”

Many school districts are still waiting for disbursement of federal dollars long overdue, and stipends have been delayed again for student teachers. 

“Where is this money going?” said Rep. Melissa Provenzano, D-Tulsa. “Last week we learned of private companies listing the OSDE as their business address and contracts awarded to out of state vendors over Oklahoma companies. Where does it end? Every taxpayer dollar should be used in accordance with the law. I say this not just as a former school administrator, but as a concerned Oklahoma resident. While we continue to file legislation mandating transparency from OSDE, action needs to be taken now to address this mounting list of issues.”

“The actions of the State Superintendent continue to concern Oklahomans,” said Rep. Trish Ranson, D-Stillwater. “As a legislature, we must work together to ensure proper oversight of the department.”

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