Gov. Mary Fallin signs Denney-Jolley charter school expansion

OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin on Friday (April 24) signed legislation giving school districts throughout the state the ability to expand public education options and create charter schools. Senate Bill 782 amends the current law, which allowed the creation of charter schools only in Oklahoma and Tulsa counties.

“This legislation provides more local control for parents and school administrators,” said Fallin. “Increasing education options will give students greater opportunities to succeed in the classroom and allow students to graduate with skill-sets necessary to go to college or into a career.”
S.B. 782 will give parents and school boards greater opportunity to address the educational needs of young people. Backers say charter schools give parents more choices for their children and encourage innovation.

S.B. 782 – authored by Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, and House Speaker Pro Tem Lee Denney, R-Chickasha — will take effect November 1.

In related news, state Sen. David Holt, R-Oklahoma City, added, via a successful amendment, language to House Bill 1696 that would allow cities directly to sponsor charters. Holt’s new approach to the proposal would allow for a popular vote, with the option for voters to veto a charter site if a majority so decided.

Holt’s revision to H.B. 1696 sailed through the Senate on April 22 with a 38-6 vote, and returned to the state House of Representatives for further consideration.