Tulsa School Board dispute & town hall

Dr. Jerry Griffin, Tulsa School Board Member (Dist. 6) announced recently his resignation from his position as a member of the Tulsa Public Schools, Finance Committee and a Town Hall for constituents and the general public Thursday, November 4, 2021, at Asbury United Methodist Church.

Griffin said, “While I have no personal knowledge of financial irregularities, the failure of the TPS Superintendent to provide me with multiple requests for financial and statistical information is deeply concerning. Her general response is, “we don’t have that information, or our systems can’t provide that information.” Griffin added, “from my view, it is her responsibility to provide information that a board member requests not to give excuses.”

Griffin added, “The financial condition of Tulsa Public Schools is mostly smoke and mirrors, and my experience has taught me that generally, where there is smoke, there is fire. I don’t believe most board members realize that they have legal fiduciary responsibility when making financial decisions regarding TPS spending. They put ALL their assets at risk. For me, I am no longer willing to do that.”

“Today I am publicly asking for State Auditor Cindy Byrd to immediately begin a forensic audit of Tulsa Public Schools covering the last six years. I am also asking for Governor Stitt and Oklahoma legislators’ for their support in this matter.”

Griffin said, “All Tulsa and Oklahoma residents pay millions of dollars for the education Of Tulsa children, and the citizens deserve to have a legal accounting of every penny.

Griffin said, “It’s time to protect the ‘cookie jar.'”

Griffin went on to say, “It frustrates me that scores of concerned citizens attend school board meetings and speak to the board about their concerns – yet because of the open meeting law, other board members or I am not allowed to respond.  The time is now to gather together and have a two-way conversation”. Griffin noted, “This is NOT an official school board function but a constituency outreach.” 

Since there are two upcoming school board elections, I am inviting Board Member Shawna Keller (District 4 and Board Member Suzzanne Schriber (District 7) to be a part of the town hall.  They can share their views and talk about their accomplishments while serving as a member of the Tulsa School Board.”  Griffin added, “Oklahoma open meeting laws allow no more than three members to be present at an event of this nature.”

There will be a forum moderator and time limits for speaking.  School board members are elected on a non-partisan basis, and this is a non-partisan event

Griffin added, “ Don’t miss this opportunity to share your ideas about improving Tulsa Public Schools for the benefit of all the children of the district.  Attendees should enter the southside of Asbury church. 

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