Senator John Ford, R-Bartlesville
State Capitol Room 424A
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: March 10, 2009
Sen. John Ford
SCHOOL DISTRICT EMPOWERMENT PROGRAM PASSES SENATE
The State Senate approved Senator John
Ford’s Senate Bill 834, a bill designed to give greater
local control to Oklahoma public school districts. Senate Bill
834, the School District Empowerment Program, would remove many
of the unfunded state mandates currently restricting the ability
of local school districts to best decide how to use resources
to benefit their students.
"We pump billions of dollars into education
every year, but schools are saddled with so many unfunded mandates
they are extremely limited as to how those funds are used,"
said Ford, who represents Craig, Nowata and Washington Counties
in the State Senate. "This will free up our local school
districts so that the teachers, parents, school boards and administrators
can develop innovative approaches and programs to give our children
a better education."
Jeff Mills, Executive Director of the Oklahoma State Schools Boards
Association, said the following: “The Oklahoma State School
Boards Association believes that the real strength and survival
of our public schools will depend on restoring the ability of
local parents, citizens and policy makers to help shape their
children’s educational experience.”
Ford, chairman of the Senate Education Committee, said regulations
dealing with health, safety, civil rights and testing would still
remain in place.
"What we are simply saying is that we entrust
our local parents, grandparents, education professionals and school
boards to determine what will work best for their district and
allow them the freedom and creativity to achieve the best results
for their students," Ford said.
SB 834 will now move to the House of Representatives
For more information contact:
Sen. Ford's Office: 405-521-5634