TPS Putting Proposed Indian Education Program Changes on Hold

Mar 10, 2020

Tulsa Public Schools is going back to the drawing board on a restructuring of its Indian Education Program.

Superintendent Deborah Gist said feelings were clear in recent community meetings about the district's proposals.

"What folks were asking of us was to set that proposal aside completely. And so, I want to make sure that everyone understands that’s exactly what we have done. There is no proposal right now that is being modified or adjusted. What we are doing is starting over," Gist said.

The process will start with meeting parents with kids in the program and other Native Americans.

"We will then be sharing those options that are developed by Native American stakeholders out back out again to the broader community for feedback, asking them what they like about different proposals, what questions they have about different proposals," Gist said.

The restructuring plan drew criticism from the Native community, both for how it was put together and for its proposal to change how 13 Indian Education staff members were assigned.

Gist had planned to bring a new plan to the TPS Board of Education later this month. She did not set a timeline for the new process.