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: May 24, 2010

COFFEE, SENATE MOVE FORWARD IN EDUCATION REFORM

Senators on both sides of the aisle rallied together today to support President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee’s Senate Bill 2033, which will transform Oklahoma’s education system, providing even more opportunities for Oklahoma students to learn and excel. SB 2033 passed with a bipartisan 37-10 majority.

After much study and reflection on Oklahoma’s education system, Pro Tem Coffee said he and fellow legislators recognized the changes needed to be made in order for our state to be the top contender among many “Race to the Top” applicants.

Among reforms approved in this legislation include:

• Optional teacher incentive pay for districts
• Implementation of an Oklahoma teacher evaluation system
• Establishment of an Oklahoma “Race to the Top” Commission consisting of education stakeholders from throughout the educational system
• Addresses schools consistently listed as low-achieving for improvement methods
• Allows for dismissal for principals and teachers deemed ineffective via due process

Coffee added that Senate Bill 2033 is full of forward thinking reforms designed to provide structure and accountability in Oklahoma’s efforts to provide a quality education system that challenges students and prepares them to enter an ever-changing, fast-paced global workforce.

“Oklahoma approaches a turning point in history where we can choose to make a difference in the lives of future generations, or choose to settle for status quo,” said Coffee. “With the passage of Senate Bill 2033 today, my hope is that the Governor will join us in embarking on this challenging, yet rewarding journey that will give Oklahoma students the opportunity to make an even greater impact in our state, nation and world.”

Senate Bill 2033 now heads to the full House for consideration.

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