Stitt’s war on public education is moving along nicely…
1:01 PM EDT on July 29, 2022
Governor Kevin Stitt has scored another hard-fought victory in his quest to destroy and sabotage public education in Oklahoma.
Yesterday afternoon, Stitt's right-wing lemmings on the State School Board voted to punish both the Tulsa and Mustang School Districts for violating House Bill 1775 – the state's oppressive and authoritarian "Please ignore and don't talk about race in schools" law.
Here are some details via The Oklahoman:
A teacher's complaint against taking racial bias training caused a demotion to Tulsa Public Schools’ accreditation status, the first penalty enforced against a district for violating an Oklahoma law limiting discussions of race and gender in schools.
The Oklahoma State Board of Education voted 4-2 in a fiery meeting Thursday to drop Tulsa's status to accredited with warning, an even graver penalty than was recommended. The Oklahoma State Department of Education determined the implicit bias training violated House Bill 1775 and advised the board label Tulsa as "accredited with deficiencies."
"Accredited with warning is sufficient in this case because we need to send a message," board member Estela Hernandez said during the meeting.
If the message they're trying to send is "Our governor is a petty asshole who picks fights with public school districts to score political brownie points" or "Oklahoma is a dystopian hellhole that no business should ever relocate to," then congratulations! Mission accomplished.
For the most part, I don't think anyone was surprised Stitt and Co. voted to punish the Tulsa Public School District.
State School Superintendant Joy Hofmeister – his Democratic opponent in the Governor's race – is from the Tulsa area, so it probably makes him and the State GOP feel good to sabotage her hometown school district. Plus, as we recently noted, the district's superintendent – Deborah Gist – hasn't backed down from Stitt, calling him the most corrupt Governor in our state since the 1970s.
That being said, the decision by the board to punish Mustang took everyone by surprise:
Soon after the Tulsa vote, the board learned Mustang Public Schools also had an HB 1775 complaint that it had investigated and confirmed.
Board members said they were unaware they were voting on a second district accused of violating the law. All school accreditation recommendations were compiled for one blanket vote until the board pulled out Tulsa and Mustang individually.
To be consistent with their Tulsa decision, board members voted 4-2 to label Mustang as accredited with warning, as well, though the state Education Department recommended accreditation with deficiency.
If you're like me, you probably have no clue what it means to demote a school’s accreditation status to "accreditation with deficiency," but after looking up what happens if a district loses accreditation, I assume it's part of Stitt's long plan to eventually occupy and annex Tulsa Public School's like an old general:
Considering how creative the OK GOP is with gerrymandering, it will be neat to see how they carve up the district. I bet Stitt saves the most lucrative parts for his closest friends and supporters!
Then again, I'm probably getting a bit ahead of myself. Stitt still has a few more battles to wage before we get to that part of his war on public education.
Anyway, Tulsa and Mustang released statements about the school board's punishment. You can read them below. Stay with The Lost Ogle. We'll keep you advised.