Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: March 22, 2017
Sen. Ron Sharp
for Kids in State Care approved in Senate
Senate gave unanimous approval to Senate Bill 632 Wednesday to create
the “Education Compact for Kids in State Care”. Sen.
Ron Sharp, R-Shawnee, said he authored the legislation to ensure
that kids in transition back to their home schools after being placed
within the Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affairs (OJA) or the Oklahoma
Department of Human Services (OKDHS) don’t fall through the
cracks in Oklahoma’s public school system.
“This will help get rid of any obstacles that at-risk youth
and their families face when transitioning back to their home school
after being removed from their home for whatever reason,”
said Sharp. “School should be a safe, non-chaotic and supportive
place for kids. Many of these students have unstable homes, which
is why they found themselves in the custody of OJA or DHS in the
first place. We need to ensure their education is as unaffected
as possible by their home situation and that they know they are
welcome at school, can participate in all school activities, organizations
and sports and also what’s required to graduate.”
SB 632 promotes flexibility and cooperation between the educational
system, parents/guardians and the study in order to achieve educational
success. The Oklahoma Department of Education (ODE), DHS and OJA
collaborated on the measure to help at-risk youth and their families.
The bill creates an advisory committee with representatives from
ODE, DHS and OJA, which will create rules and work together to address
any issues that arise from the compact. Students in state care will
be automatically enrolled upon arrival at the school, which allows
time for districts to work with the parent, guardian or designee
from OJA or DHS while the permanent records are being requested.
They will be automatically enrolled even if they don’t have
up to date vaccination records and will have 30 days to provide
updated records or complete the exemption certificate as required
by state law. The legislation allows students in state care to try
out for athletics or apply for education or social clubs once they
arrive at school. It also provides consistency regarding graduation
requirements by enrolling students in the core curriculum track
as stated by Oklahoma statute. Those who want to take more rigorous
courses and pursue the college prep track may do so.
SB 632 now heads to the House of Representatives.
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