Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: March 30, 2011
Pres Pro Tem Brian Bingman discusses education reform
initiatives while Gov Fallin and former Florida Gov Bush and other
legislators look on
Senators Encouraged by Support for Education Reforms
State Senators John
Ford, Clark Jolley and Dan Newberry said they were honored to author
education reform initiatives championed by Gov. Mary Fallin and
former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.
Bush visited Oklahoma last August to outline reform policies that
had made a dramatic difference in student achievement in his state.
Wednesday he returned to Oklahoma to join Fallin, Sen. President Pro
Tempore Brian Bingman, House Speaker Kris Steele and Superintendent
Janet Barresi at a State Capitol press conference promoting
legislation aimed at improving public education.
Jolley, R-Edmond, is principal author of Senate Bill 346 which would
end social promotion.
“Before Florida implemented this simple reform, nearly half of their
fourth graders were functionally illiterate. Now 70 percent are
reading at grade level or higher,” Jolley said. “We can do the same
thing for Oklahoma students.”
Jolley is also principal author of Senate Bill 348, which calls for
creation of a report card for schools using letter grades of A
through F to make it easier for parents and patrons to see how well
their local schools are performing.
Ford, who represents Craig, Nowata and Washington counties, is
principal Senate author of Senate Bill 1 and House Bill 1380. Both
measures would end the process known as trial de novo, which enables
a teacher whose contract has been terminated to appeal a school
board’s decision to district court.
“Under the current system, ending the contract of a bad teacher can
cost school districts tens of thousands of dollars and take months
to resolve,” Ford said. “School boards clearly have the authority to
hire employees. This simply restores their ability to terminate
those who are not acting in the best interest of the students and
the district. Good teachers will continue to have much greater
employment protection than most Oklahomans have in the private
Newberry, R-Sand Springs, is the author of Senate Bill 969 which
will create a privately funded scholarship that can be awarded to
students that meet need requirements or that live in underperforming
“We must give every student an opportunity to learn, if their
current school is not providing that, this is a way that we can
engage the private sector and offer a better option,” said Newberry.
“This bill provides more opportunity to students that currently do
not have access to quality education.”
Bush praised the reform efforts currently working their way through
“Providing every student with a quality education is one of our
greatest moral and economic challenges,” said Bush. “This cannot
happen unless we transform the status quo. I applaud the leaders of
Oklahoma for their commitment to transform education for the 21st
century by holding schools accountable for student learning, placing
a command focus on reading, and empowering parents to choose the
best education for their child.”
For more information contact:
Sen. Ford: (405) 521-5634
Sen. Jolley: (405) 521-5622
Sen. Newberry: (405)