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Oklahoma State Senate
President Pro Tempore
Sen. Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City
State Capitol Room 422
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
(405) 521-5636

For Immediate Release: February 12, 2010

Sen. Glenn Coffee
Sen. Glenn Coffee

COFFEE ANNOUNCES LEGISLATION TO EXPAND CHARTERING AUTHORITY AND EXTEND CHARTER SCHOOLS STATEWIDE
Other Related Education Reforms Promoted

Senate President Pro Tem Glenn Coffee announced that he will introduce legislation, SB 1862, giving large city mayors chartering authority, while removing the number of caps on allowed charter schools, a major education reform that will increase opportunity for students and parents in the state’s two largest cities.

“Mayors across the nation are enthusiastic about this opportunity to reform their local schools and provide more quality educational access to their respective cities,” Coffee said. “We want to make this available to our cities, and we believe this will expand a very successful reform that has increased student achievement and parental involvement in the educational process.

“Charter schools provide greater opportunity for minority and poor students, require greater accountability, and have been proven to produce a higher level of achievement for their students,” Coffee continued.

“This is a win-win proposition for our kids and our state.”

Key points of SB 1862 include:

• Allow municipalities with a population of 300,000 or more to sponsor/authorize charter schools;
• Remove the number of caps on charter schools;
• Allowing existing charter schools to participate in school board bond elections;
• Mandate the State Department of Education and the Department of Central Services publish a list of all vacant buildings owned by the state or school districts that may be suitable for charter schools, as is being done in Arizona, Delaware and South Carolina;
• Allow Native American tribes to authorize and sponsor charter schools;
• Remove all geographic restrictions on charter schools – or – allow charter schools in districts with an ADM of 5000 or more students regardless of county.

“I personally support this proposed legislation,” said Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett. “There are a number of exciting new trends in education, and I think this will be a new tool to consider.

“I believe this also sends the message that we consider public education very important in Oklahoma City, and intend to maintain that focus in the years to come.”

Coffee’s bill is still being crafted, and will be introduced within the next week.

For more information contact:
Sen. Coffee: 405-521-5636

Inon: Horizontal Blue Band

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