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Mustang Public Schools accreditation status updated

Charles Bradley, the Superintendent for Mustang Public Schools, updates the Mustang Board of Education on the status of the district’s accreditation when they convened in August. (Photo by Jacob Sturm)

By Jacob Sturm

Arguably the biggest looming stumbling block for Mustang Public Schools is no more, and the
school district is set to see a benefit.

Mustang’s Board of Education convened for their monthly meeting in the Mustang Education
Resource Center where superintendent Charles Bradley provided an update on the school
district’s accreditation status.

For the past year, Mustang Public Schools had been operating under an Accreditation with
Warning distinction stemming from a complaint filed by a parent from an incident happening at
one of the Mustang Schools in January of 2022.

The complaint went in front of the Oklahoma State School Board members at the same time as
the Tulsa Public Schools accreditation status was under consideration, and both school districts
were hit with lower accreditation status than where they previously possessed. This was the
first time that any adverse action had been taken against Mustang’s accreditation, and was one
step away from being unaccredited.

That prompted Bradley, Mayor Brian Grider, and others to appear at a 2022 State Board of
Education meeting to ask that due process be afforded to the District and that the Board allow
MPS to present the facts surrounding the incident.

That resulted in a vote from the State Board members, who voted 3-2 against the district
getting due process for the situation. According to the district, there was no ability within the
law to allow for an appeal of that decision.

Now, a year later, the new school year brings a new accreditation status, replacing the State
Board decision.

“Issues that were presented to us last year with the accreditation status and the whole 1775
thing, that has expired,” Bradley said during the meeting. “That is no longer an issue for
Mustang Public Schools. However, for the 2023-24 year, because of the embezzlement that
happened last year, that was part of this year’s accreditation. And as far as status, it’s an
accreditation with one deficiency.”

Bradley said the status is a step below the perfect accreditation status, putting MPS in the same
category as 143 other school districts in the state. He said the district knew that was going to
happen and took proactive measures, such as implementing new processes and procedures,
hiring a new Chief Financial Officer, along with compliance with auditors.

The embezzlement stemmed from a former payroll supervisor at Mustang Public Schools
embezzling district funds. The matter remains in investigators’ and attorney’s hands. MPS has
also told families they will provide updates as soon as they are legally able to provide the

The deficiency should not impact Mustang Public Schools’ daily operations.

“As long as we just adhere to those (measures for processes and procedures, along with
compliance with auditors), which we fully expect to, this will just be another short-lived
deficiency,” Bradley said.

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