Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: May 13, 2009
Sen. John Ford
FORD VOICES DISAPPOINTMENT OVER GOVERNOR’S VETO
OF SCHOOL CHOICE LEGISLATION
Ford said Wednesday he was disappointed the Governor vetoed
Senate Bill 586 which allows charter schools to be sponsored by
a federally recognized Indian tribe.
Ford, author of SB 586, said Wednesday that the
Governor’s veto prevents students and parents from receiving
quality choices in education.
“Oklahoma has over 600,000 students, and not
all learn the same way,” said Ford who represents Craig,
Nowata and Washington Counties in the State Senate. “It
is important to have a variety of education options for students
and parents including public, private and home schooling as well
as charter schools.”
Charter schools are public schools established by
contract with sponsors. They are allowed in 41 states and the
District of Columbia, and charter schools are freed from many
laws and regulations. They often promote a specific curriculum
or learning style.
Senate Bill 586 would have also allowed a statewide
public school teachers organization to contract with a sponsor
to establish a charter school, and was supported by the Oklahoma
Representative Jabar Shumate, co-author of SB 586
said, "It caught me by surprise that the Governor decided
to veto Senate Bill 586. The bill was historic in the fact that
it was a bi-partisan effort that garnered broad support from organizations
like the Oklahoma Education Association, which in the past has
scrutinized charter school proposals."
Shumate also said after reading the veto message,
"There may have been a misunderstanding because the veto
message alludes to the Governor's concern that Native American
tribes would operate or organize schools, a function that he finds
duplicative. But the bill allows a tribe to authorize a school
which is different from organizing or operating one."
Ford added that Native American tribes would be
an excellent partner in Oklahoma’s charter school program.
“Even President Obama and Secretary of Education
Arne Duncan are supporters of charter schools and the reforms
they bring. We recognize it is critical to continue making these
opportunities readily available to enhance Oklahoma’s education
and I hope the Governor will help our efforts to expand our students’
options in the future.”
For more information contact:
Sen. Ford's Office - 405-521-5634