Despite Public Outcry, Speaker Will Not Investigate Embattled State Superintendent
OKLAHOMA CITY – Today at his press conference, the Oklahoma Speaker of the House indicated that he will not meet the request of Democratic legislators to create a special bipartisan House committee to investigate whether sufficient grounds exist for the House of Representatives to exercise its constitutional power to impeach the State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
“I am very disappointed with the Speaker’s decision. As each day goes by without action from the House of Representatives, the Superintendent is emboldened to continue defunding and dismantling our public education system because he knows he won’t be held accountable. It is our constitutional duty to protect our public schools and Oklahomans are demanding accountability from both Republican and Democratic legislators. The decision not to exercise our authority to create a special bipartisan House committee to simply look into his behavior ignores the concerns of frightened parents,” House Democratic Leader Cyndi Munson, D-Oklahoma City said.
The request from Democrats came amid a slew of bomb threats in Tulsa-area schools believed to be connected to the State Superintendent’s consistent pattern of incendiary videos and comments aimed at public education teachers.
“We respect our democratic process and understand that Mr. Walters is an elected official. However, due to his consistent pattern of inflammatory language aimed at our public education teachers, outright lies and targeted attacks on local control, along with the continued criminal investigations into the potential financial mismanagement of OSDE funds and continued refusal to cooperate in good faith with lawmakers, House Democrats believe we have reached the point to use our authority,” Leader Munson said.
House Democrats sent a formal request to the Oklahoma Speaker of the House to use his authority to create a special bipartisan House committee to investigate the State Superintendent on Tuesday, August 29, 2023.