SB 770 (Roberts/Begley): Amends the Education Leadership Oklahoma program by specifying the membership of the applicant review committee, providing for the reimbursement of expenses of persons who achieve National Board certification without the sponsorship of the Education Leadership Oklahoma program, expanding the number of participants in Education Leadership Oklahoma program, and establishing training programs to assist teachers seeking National Board certification. The bill also requires district boards of education to provide two professional days for portfolio development for program participants and states legislative intent that National Board certification portfolio development be included in master's level degree programs in education. SB 770 also specifies that an annual bonus shall be provided to National Board certified teachers in the amount of $5,000.
SB 1394 (Stipe/Adair): Restricts persons from direct or indirect employment with a school or school district if that person has been convicted of a felony or a sex offense subject to any state or federal sex offenders registration. Violations of this provision are punishable by a fine and violators may be liable for civil damages.
SB 1429 (Leftwich/Boyd, Betty): Restricts enrollment in driver's education during school day to students enrolled in the core curriculum courses. Creates a state coordinator of driver education programs. Sets out a schedule for reimbursing schools for offering driver education at the rate of $95 for courses offered before or after school, and $82.50 for courses offered during school day, on Saturdays and in the summer. Limits fee schools may charge to $70. Allows driver education teaching certificates that have expired to be reinstated.
HB 1657 (Eddins/Williams): Removes the income requirement that restricted access to early childhood programs to only those children of families that were Head Start eligible and makes early childhood education programs available to all students who have reached the age of at least four years old before September 1 of the ensuing year. The bill also raises the grade-level formula weight for early childhood programs from .7 to 1.3 for full day programs and specifies that .7 grade weight will be provided for half-day programs. No state aid will be provided for underage students enrolled in kindergarten and the 1st grade.
HB 2433 (Hager/Williams): Removes therapeutic foster care children from the bill-back process; therefore eliminating the bill-back system for all students. The bill also expands the access to Special Education Assistance Fund, increases the out-of-home-placement pupil weight in the State Aid Formula from 1.45 to 1.5, and allows school districts to contract with large regimented juvenile training facilities for the provision of educational services to students residing at the facility.
HB 2557 (Staggs/Horner): Re-creates the Minority Teacher Recruitment Advisory Committee to oversee the implementation of the Minority Teacher Recruitment Center. Modifies the legislative charge of the center by providing the center authority to issue campus-based recruitment, retention and placement programs to assist minority students. Specifies the intervention strategies that the center will utilize at the junior and senior high school levels to expose students to teaching. Authorizes the creation and development of placement services providing assistance to both minority educators and school districts seeking to hire qualified minority teachers.
HB 2575 (Dunegan/Mickle): Addresses the election of school board members by reducing nine member district boards of education to seven members and gives the boards the option of reducing its size to a five member board after receiving requisite approval. Expands the option for school districts to elect board members at large from districts with fewer than one thousand (1,000) students in average daily membership to districts having less than one thousand eight hundred (1,800) students.
HB 2878 (Boyd B./Williams): Expands the use of multiple on-going reading assessments from only first and second grade students to kindergarten and third graders until such time as the student is determined to be reading at grade level. Provides that instruction provided for students to eliminate any deficiencies shall not be counted towards the one-hundred-eighty-day school year.
Requires every school district to annually submit a reading sufficiency plan to the State Board of Education for approval as a part of the district's Comprehensive Local Education plan. Specifies content of reading sufficiency plan. Requires each school site to establish a committee composed of educators to determine the reading assessment of each student not reading at grade level.
Requires the State Board of Education to promulgate rules for the implementation of the Reading Sufficiency Act. Requires a new reading plan to be developed for third-grade students in need of remediation as determined by multiple ongoing assessments administered in the Oklahoma School testing Program. Requires the parent or guardian of a student in need of remediation be included in consideration of retention of the student. Requires the State Board of Education to annually issue a Reading Report Card for each elementary school site. Provides one hundred and fifty dollars ($150) to be provided to schools for each student found to be in need of remediation.
Requires the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation to make available a three-day follow-up professional development institute and a five-day initial professional development institute in elementary school reading, and to contract for an independent evaluation of the elementary school reading professional development institute.
HB 2889 (Staggs/Hendrick): Amends existing law that requires persons under eighteen (18) years of age to successfully demonstrate an eighth-grade reading proficiency prior to applying for a driver's license as demonstrated through the use of the eighth-grade reading test or an alternative reading test approved by the State Board of Education. Previously, only special education students or students with a specific learning disability were able to meet the reading requirement with an alternative reading test. All eighth grade students must first take the eighth-grade reading test prior to taking an alternative reading test. The first administration of the eighth grade reading test is offered at no cost to the student. Students will be assessed a fee of twenty-five dollars ($25) for all subsequent reading tests.
The bill requires the notification of the student's eighth-grade reading test scores in writing to the parent or guardian and provides that students that do not successfully complete the eighth-grade reading test be provided a plan of remedial reading. Information in regard to the need for remediation and the driver's license requirement shall also be forwarded to the parents of students who do not pass the eighth-grade reading test.
The bill also provides greater access to testing facilities by requiring school sites to offer the reading tests and allowing area vocational-technical school districts, Regional Education Service Centers, colleges, accredited private schools and other sites approved by the State Board of Education and reduces the number of times school districts must administer the tests from six times per year to four.