OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister wants the long-time president of the Western Heights School Board removed for failing to provide important documents to the Oklahoma State Department of Education.
On Wednesday, OSDE filed a request with a county judge to formally remove Robert Everman.
An audit performed by the school is due to the Department of Education after each fiscal year and Hofmeister said that the school district has not made that public.
In fact, she contends that president of the school board Robert Everman is delaying the release on purpose.
“The president of the school board, who has been a member for decades, has prevented that by removing it from the agenda twice in June, and it needed to be completed by June 30th,” said Hofmeister.
Another important document, the budget for fiscal year ending June 30, 2021, was due in October of 2021. State Auditor and Inspector Cindy Byrd said her office has still not received it and there are consequences for the schools.
“When a school district fails to timely submit a budget, a county treasurer lacks the needed information to apply levies to property valuations,” said Byrd in a statement to KFOR.
Without a budget, they can’t get appropriations.
“This is causing a real harm to the students of Western Heights because it triggers other issues where funds could potentially be in jeopardy at the state level,” said Hofmeister.
News 4 reached out to Robert Everman and his lawyer Jeff Cloclazier, but they have not responded.
The district has spent the last year fighting the state over control of the schools.
At the end of 2021, the State Board of Education adopted a plan to take over and suspended the certification of former superintendent of Western Heights Mannix Barnes.
The state then appointed a new superintendent, while at the same time Western Heights appointed their own superintendent.
Hofmeister said the community is impatient and tired of incurring costs with continued legal fees.
“Parents are telling us they’re livid that this half million dollars in legal expenses has been paid to one lawyer and to fight the very desire of the community, which is for a fresh start and one that puts children first,” said the state superintendent.