March 12, 2021

Update on Education Bills to Watch

Inside the Oklahoma House of Representatives in 2020. File Photo/Oklahoma Watch

Happy Friday everyone. The Legislature has been busy these past few weeks and Thursday was another deadline. I thought it might be a good time to update this roundup I wrote a few weeks ago.

  • House Bill 1735, Rep. Sheila Dills’ proposal to increase oversight of charters schools and education management organizations, died in committee.
  • Also failing to pass is House Joint Resolution 1036, Rep. Jon Echols’ bill to allow charters to propose bonds.
  • House Bill 2078 (replaces HB2241), by Rep. Kyle Hilbert, passed the House and is expected to be heard in the Senate soon. It makes significant changes to the school funding formula, which I wrote about here.
  • House Bill 1569, Rep. Jacob Rosecrants’ Play to Learn Act, is alive and working its way through the Senate. The proposal would encourage early childhood teachers to teach in a “fun, play-based way.”
  • Senate Bill 783, Sen. Adam Pugh’s bill to expand school transfers, passed the Senate. So did House Bill 2074, a similar proposal.

Other measures I’m keeping an eye on are a package of broadband internet expansion bills – a critical infrastructure need, particularly for students in rural areas.

Coming next week: I’m working on a piece on ways to evaluate a public school besides letter grades. I’d love to hear from you. What measures say the most about a school’s success or struggles? Email me at jpalmer@oklahomawatch.org. Have a great week.

—Jennifer Palmer

Around the web

  • ‘It’s sickening’: Announcer uses racial slur during state basketball tournament [NonDoc]
  • Epic co-founder’s audit recommendations make it into legislation [Tulsa World]
  • The relief bill set to be signed by Biden could take a huge — if temporary — bite out of child poverty [The 19th News]
  • (Podcast) When Odessa High School reopened its doors, the school also pushed ahead with the football and marching band season. But was it worth the risk? [Part 2] [Part 1]

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