Governor says he will work with lawmakers who want audit of Oklahoma Department of Education

Gov. Kevin Stitt is vowing to heed a call by 22 GOP lawmakers Wednesday to seek an investigative audit into state education officials’ oversight of public school cost accounting.

The move comes on the heels of State Auditor and Inspector Cindy Byrd’s recent findings, which questioned the oversight of Epic Charter Schools’ use of taxpayer dollars by the state agency run by State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister.

“As governor, I have consistently fought for transparency and accountability across our state government,” Stitt said in response to a request for comment from the Tulsa World. “As we continue to work with the Legislature to invest in public education at the highest levels in our state’s history, it is imperative that these funds are being carefully managed and in compliance with the law.

“I applaud the 22 legislators who publicly expressed their concerns for being good stewards of taxpayer dollars and will work with them to formally request an investigative audit of the Oklahoma State Department of Education.”

Earlier on Wednesday afternoon, a group of Republican lawmakers — 11 state representatives and 11 state senators — issued a joint statement calling on Stitt to request an investigative audit of the state Education Department to determine the full extent and impact of its potential failure to ensure compliance with the Oklahoma Cost Accounting System for public schools.

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