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Oklahoma State Senate
Oklahoma State Senate
Senator Susan Paddack
Senate District 13
Majority Whip
Coal, Garvin , Hughes & Pontotoc Counties

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For Immediate Release: May 25, 2005

Sen. Susan Paddack
Sen. Susan Paddack

Two Freshman Legislators Pair up to Enhance Learning Opportunities
for Oklahoma School Children

A bill that will allow local education foundations to better serve the needs of public schools in Oklahoma is on its way to Governor Henry for his signature. Senate Bill 326, authored by two freshman legislators, Senator Susan Paddack and State Representative Wes Hilliard, received final approval in the House today.

“This bill allows local foundations to compete for grants that will enhance the curriculum in our public schools,” said Paddack, who served as a statewide leader for local education foundations before her service in the Senate.

Senator Paddack, (D-Ada) said under current Oklahoma law, local foundations are prohibited from competing for state and federal grant dollars, putting Oklahoma education foundations at a disadvantage over other states. She said passage of SB 326 will now allow those foundations to compete for those dollars and forge new partnerships with their local public schools.

“Local school foundations pump in more than $1 million each year to our public schools for projects like literary anthologies, aerospace and technology education and enhanced math and science curriculum,” Paddack said. “These 167 foundations have given more than $22 million back to Oklahoma schools. It's time we give them the opportunity they need to help make tomorrow better for our children.”

Rep. Hilliard, (D-Sulphur) said the bill allows public schools and local foundations new opportunities to raise funds that directly touch the lives of every Oklahoma school child.

“We must find every opportunity to enhance the learning and minds of the next generation of leaders in Oklahoma,” Hilliard said. “This bill does just that. And by doing so we are giving every public school system and local foundation in Oklahoma the opportunity to reach the full promise they have to offer.”

For more information contact:
Senate President Pro Tem's Office- (405) 521-5605

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