Oklahoma Senate approves Senator Pugh’s ‘Learn Everywhere Act’

Senate Education Committee chairman Adam Pugh wants Oklahoma to think outside the box when it comes to students earning credits for graduation. The Edmond Republican is the author of Senate Bill 1623, the Learn Everywhere Act, to allow public school students to be eligible for extended learning opportunities outside the classroom.

“There are a number of opportunities outside of the traditional classroom where kids can gain useful knowledge, be it in internships, mentorships, or even training they get at their job,” Pugh said. “We need to turn that valuable experience into credits for graduation. This will give students real life experience, expose them to new career possibilities and help them better pursue their passions.”

S.B. 1623 would allow a student to request credit for an extended learning opportunity, which could be granted by their school district, charter school or the State Board of Education. The bill would require each school district board of education and charter school governing body to adopt an extended learning opportunity policy. Beginning in the 2022-23 school year, students in 9th through 12th grades would also be allowed to request credit for courses by demonstrating understanding of that subject area’s content standards.

“Wyoming and New Hampshire, along with some school districts in our state, have already successfully implemented this innovative idea of educating students and helping get them career ready. This bill will expand that statewide to ensure all of Oklahoma’s students have access to this unique educational opportunity,” Pugh said. “We’ve learned so much, especially during the pandemic, about how kids want to learn, how they do learn and how best to reach kids where they are. We have to recognize that this generation of kids maybe learns differently than our generation did. I’m very excited for the possibilities this will provide for Oklahoma’s youth.”

The measure was approved by the full Senate Tuesday after a 36-8 vote. It will next be considered in the House where Rep. Jeff Boatman, R-Tulsa, is the principal author.

NOTE: Pat McGuigan, publisher and founder of CapitolBeatOK.com, contributed to this report.