Friday, September 17, 2021

State Reps. Caldwell, Roberts comment on Department of Education audit

Reactions are starting to come in regarding Governor Stitt's requested - first ever - full audit of the State Department of Education. Click here for the (un)surprising take from Republican Republican-In-Name-Only State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister.

Rep. Chad Caldwell Comments on Education Audit

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Chad Caldwell, R-Enid, today issued the following statement after the governor and the state auditor announced an investigative audit of the Oklahoma Cost Accounting System (OCAS) at the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE). 

Caldwell and 21 other lawmakers requested the audit last November after a report from State Auditor and Inspector Cindy Byrd of EPIC Charter Schools revealed the OSDE failed to properly monitor the OCAS for compliance.  

“I appreciate Governor Stitt calling for an audit of the State Department of Education. Following on the heels of the report from the state auditor last year that identified serious shortcomings in the department’s compliance efforts, 22 legislators asked the governor to further investigate these claims. With today’s announcement, Governor Stitt has followed through on the promise he made to Oklahoma taxpayers.

“With a historic $3.1 billion investment in public education by the legislature, in addition to over $2 billion in new federal aid, it is more important now than ever that Oklahoma taxpayers know our education dollars are going toward the classroom where they belong. I was disappointed to hear Superintendent Hofmeister call financial accountability and transparency an attack on public education, especially after the concerns raised publicly by Oklahoma’s auditor.”

Rep. Roberts Comments on Potential OSDE Audit

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Sean Roberts, R-Hominy, commented on today’s announcement by Governor Kevin Stitt requesting an audit of the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE). This would be the first-ever audit of OSDE, and would focus on the state agency's financial oversight of public schools. According to Governor Stitt’s office, the request demands identification of all revenue sources flowing into OSDE through federal funds, state appropriations, taxes and fees, and to determine whether OSDE and Oklahoma school districts are complying with financial transaction reporting requirements.

“I would like to congratulate the Governor and my 22 colleagues for requesting that the State Auditor conduct an audit of OSDE,” Roberts said. “This has been needed for some time now. In fact, I have been requesting this audit take place since the second special session of 2017. During this special session I filed HB1043 which would have enforced an audit of OSDE by the State Auditor.”

Roberts continued, “OSDE now receives more than $3.1 Billion in taxpayer funding each year, and any government agency being allocated this much funding should be audited on a regular basis. This is just common sense.”


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