Senate Legislation to Foster Charter Schools Clears House Committee

The measure mirrors a House bill backed by Republican leaders

Senate legislation to encourage charter schools in Oklahoma is headed for a vote of the full state House of Representatives after the measure garnered approval from a House committee Monday.

Speaker Lance Cargill praised passage of the legislation, part of the House Republican “Year of Ideas” legislative agenda.

“Charter schools encourage new and better approaches to educating our children,” said Cargill (R-Harrah). “These innovative schools should be a major component of education reform in Oklahoma, which must also include meaningful testing requirements for students and the highest standards from our educators.”

Senate Bill 661 closely mirrors House Bill 1589, authored by House Education committee chair Tad Jones (R-Claremore). That bill currently awaits a floor vote in the Senate, and has attracted bipartisan support by lawmakers like Shumate.

“I hear from my constituents all the time that they want more and better options for their children’s education,” said Shumate. “I’ve seen the tremendous positive impact that charter schools are having on children’s lives in my own community. We should be encouraging the formation of these schools, not discouraging them.”

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