Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: February 21, 2017
Sen. Ron Sharp
Education Compact for Kids in State Care
heads to full Senate
The Senate Education Committee approved the Education Compact for
Kids in State Care Monday. Sen. Ron
Sharp, author of Senate Bill 632, said it will remove the barriers
that many young people and their families experience when it is
time to transition back to their home school after placement within
the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs (OJA) or the Oklahoma Department
of Human Services (OKDHS).
“It’s important to the mental growth and emotional well-being
of these kids that we do what we can to facilitate an easy transition
to school. Many don’t have structured lives and supportive
families like most of us had growing up,” said Sharp, R-Shawnee.
“What we want is to assure them with all certainty that they
can go back to school, they can participate in meaningful and healthy
school organizations and also let them know what the requirements
are to graduate.”
Sharp explained that much of the bill mirrors the Military Compact,
which helps kids dealing with multiple deployments transition to
different schools quickly and efficiently. The measure also meets
guidelines for the Oklahoma State Foster Care Plan or ESSA.
The measure was requested by the Oklahoma State Department of Education
(SDE), OKDHS and OJA who collaborated on the wording and agreed
that it was fair and would benefit at-risk youth and their families.
SB 632 creates an advisory committee consisting of one representative
from OJA, SDE and OKDHS. Students in state care would be automatically
enrolled when they arrived at school, which would allow time for
districts to work with the parent, guardian or a designee from OJA
or DHS while the permanent records were being requested. The students
would be enrolled even if they did not have up to date vaccination
records. Students and families would have 30 days to provide updated
records or complete the exemption certificate as required by state
law. They would also be allowed to try out for athletics or apply
for education or social clubs once they arrived at school. Finally,
the bill would provide consistency regarding graduation requirements
by enrolling students in the core curriculum track as stated by
Oklahoma statute but they would be able to take more rigorous courses
or pursue the college prep track if they wanted.
SB 632 will next be heard by the full Senate.
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