Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: March 6, 2013
Sen. Constance N. Johnson
Sen. Jabar Shumate
Senate vote jeopardizes Oklahoma higher education funding
The Senate approved two measures Tuesday that democrat Senators
N. Johnson and Jabar
Shumate believe could jeopardize the state’s higher education
funding. Senate Bills 58 and 59 remove the mandate for a Langston
University presence in Tulsa and allows for the duplication of Langston
University course offerings – both of which are in direct
violation of a 1978 agreement with the U.S. Department of Education’s
Office of Civil Rights mandating that Langston University would
have a presence in both Tulsa and Oklahoma City and that it’s
courses would not be duplicated by other universities.
The State Board of Regents is currently in negotiations with the
U.S. Department of Education to address the state’s being
out of compliance with that 1978 agreement.
Sen. Johnson said the bills would put Oklahoma even further out
of compliance with the federal agreement threatening Langston and
other schools’ federal funding.
“This assault on the historic mission of Langston University
with regard to the education of underserved groups is unwarranted,”
said Johnson. “Not only does the passage of these measures
put our federal education funding in jeopardy, it also demonstrates
disregard for the value that Langston University has brought to
our state in educating such populations.”
Sen. Shumate feels this legislation should be killed in order to
allow the State Board of Regents to continue to work on negotiations
with the U.S. Department of Education.
“Those who supported these bills are putting the cart before
the horse,” said Shumate, D-Tulsa. “We need to respect
the process and allow the State Regents to continue negotiations
with the U.S. Department of Education before we start passing legislation
that could negatively impact our federal education funding.”
SB 58, which passed 35-11, would eliminate the requirement that
the Oklahoma A&M Board of Regents establish a branch of the
university within the Tulsa metropolitan area.
SB 59, which passed 36-10, would allow the Oklahoma State Regents
for Higher Education to establish a baccalaureate degree program
in accounting at Oklahoma State University/Tulsa.
The bills will now move to the House for further consideration.
History of state's 1978 agreement with
the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights
For more information, contact:
Sen. Johnson: (405) 521-5531
Sen. Shumate: (405) 521-5598