Senate Education panel passes board reforms
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Published: 07-Feb-2011
CapitolBeatOK Staff Report

Published 07-Feb-2011
The Senate Education Committee has given approval to a bill to give the State Superintendent greater control over policy, while increasing accountability to the public.  Senate Bill 718 was approved Monday (February 7) 12 to 5.  The measure was authored by Sen. President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman and Senate Education Chairman John Ford.

“This is about honoring the will of the people and who they choose to direct education policy in our state.  Every four years, the citizens decide who can best do that job,” Ford said.  “Senate Bill 718 will make sure our state superintendent can do the job she was elected to do.”

Bingman said the state superintendent should have the same statutory authority as other statewide elected officials to implement policy and shape the department’s direction.

“Oklahomans spoke loud and clear in November that they were tired of the status quo in education, and they supported Superintendent Janet Barresi’s desire to reform our public school system,” Bingman said.  “As their elected representatives, we have a responsibility to make sure their voice is heard and their will is honored.”

SB 718, co-authored by House Speaker Kris Steele, will next be heard by the full Senate.

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