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Education

Gov. Kevin Stitt Requests Audit Of Oklahoma State Department Of Education

Gov. Kevin Stitt at podium crowded with microphones

Gov. Kevin Stitt is calling on the State Auditor to investigate Oklahoma’s State Department of Education.

Stitt wants State Auditor Cindy Byrd’s office to account for every penny flowing in and out of the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

In a news release, he says he has concerns about accountability systems within Oklahoma’s State Department of Education, specifically issues identified by Byrd in her audit of Epic Charter Schools released almost a year ago. That audit found millions of dollars of financial mismanagement by Oklahoma’s largest public school district.

Byrd found that the state department has “no process in place to evaluate actual compliance with the written policies and procedures,” in her report.

Byrd says the scope and scale of the audit request is unprecedented. It’s unclear when it will be completed.

State schools superintendent Joy Hofmeister responded to Stitt, calling his audit request an attack on her agency and public education more broadly. She pointed to more than 20 financial, compliance and programmatic review audits by Byrd's office in the last 6 1/2 years as evidence that his request is unnecessary.

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