Some Parents Upset As They Say TPS Board Violated Statute In Budget Approval

Wednesday, June 23rd 2021, 9:15 pm
By: Jordan Tidwell

TULSA, Oklahoma -

Some parents of Tulsa Public School students say they are upset with the way the Board of Education approved the annual budget. 

They say the board violated the state statute by not having a proper public hearing before voting. 

Parents say the board was not being transparent, and now want the board to redo the vote. 

The Board of Education for Tulsa Public Schools approved the annual budget Monday. It was posted in the paper the week before that there would be a public hearing regarding the budget. 

"They are required to give 45 days' notice of a public hearing and hold a public hearing before passing an annual budget," said parent Alana Kennon. 

But some parents say it wasn't a proper public hearing. 

During a public hearing, the board is allowed to have open discussion with the public and answer questions. Parent Alana Kennon said that didn't happen. 

She said the district typically is great about communicating when parents will have a chance to speak, but not this time. 

"There was not one Facebook post, email, text, any notification to parents that they would have an opportunity to give feedback about the budget," she said. 

Board member Dr. Jerry Griffin said he wasn't aware the meeting was a public hearing and didn't know he was able to respond to public comment. 

He said it feels like his constituents were not heard. 

"I think if we would have advertised this correctly, at least 50 people would have been there, maybe 100," he said. 

He said this was a missed opportunity for discussion. He believes the board should redo the vote on the budget and advertise a public hearing to give more people a chance to be there. 

"You have to be legal with what you do, I think the vote on the budget was illegal," he said. 

Board President Woolley sent the following statement:

"We are in full compliance with state law and board policy.”