Rep. Scott Martin Calls for Reforming Board of Education

CapitolBeatOK Staff Report 

Published 29-Jan-2011

State Rep. Scott Martin on Friday (January 29) called for reforming the State Board of Education, especially in light of the group’s recent controversial actions that have garnered unflattering national attention.

“I was disappointed and disturbed by the Board of Education’s action [on Thursday].  Not only was it unprofessional, it came at a time when all of us need to be working together to improve our children’s education,” said Martin, a Norman Republican.

He said the events “highlighted the need for a bill I’ve been working on since 2008. In Oklahoma we have one of the weakest executive branch structures in the country, and one sure-fire way to strengthen the office is to provide greater flexibility and authority over appointments.

“Most recently I have worked with Representative Jason Murphey of Guthrie on House Bill1208. Other than constitutional positions, this important reform will allow the governor to make all appointments to each board or commission during his or her time in office regardless of the life of any specific board or commission member term.

The people of Oklahoma spoke last November. To adequately express the will of the people we need to equip our governor with the tools she needs to advocate and implement her plan for the future of our state.

“Clearly the state Board of Education is out of touch and not in a place to properly advocate for the needed reforms we all hope for. If we don’t allow Governor Fallin or any future Governor the ability to implement his or her agenda, we are doing a disservice to the citizens of Oklahoma. More importantly, we are doing a disservice to the children of this state who deserve every opportunity to succeed — success that comes through a quality education.

“I hope my colleagues will join Representative Murphey and me in championing this cause and sending H.B.1208 to the Governor as quickly as possible so she can begin to fix the dysfunction on the Board of Education.”