Tulsa’s Superintendent, Deborah A. Gist, has announced her decision to step down
The move was a last-ditch effort to prevent the state from taking control of the largest school district in Oklahoma. Her resignation comes amid tensions with Ryan Walters, the state’s conservative schools chief, who has criticized the district’s performance and raised concerns about financial management, resulting in threats of a state takeover.
Walters has also clashed with Gist over cultural and religious matters. The school district, serving a predominantly Black and Hispanic student body with significant economic disadvantages, faces potential loss of accreditation and forced closure if state control is imposed.
Other cities have faced similar takeover threats. This is especially true of cities ran by Democrats in traditionally Republican states.