Oklahoma lawmakers file legislation for schools

Posted at 2:55 PM, Apr 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-12 05:31:57-04

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Two Oklahoma lawmakers have filed six pieces of legislation aimed at "maximizing classroom dollars and minimizing administrative waste."

Rep. Sean Roberts, R-Hominy, said that the recent walkout at the state Capitol, which is going on day eight, has invigorated him in searching for ways to raise funding. Rep. Tess Teague, R-Choctaw, was also a part of the legislation.

“These past few weeks at the Capitol have invigorated me,” said Roberts. “Listening to teachers and residents of House District 36, there’s been a clear message – we don’t need to raise taxes to increase classroom spending. These bills are a result of productive conversations between lawmakers and stakeholders, and the results will benefit educators and the average taxpayer alike.”

The proposed legislation includes the following bills, according to a news release:

  • House Bill 1043XX, which enforces a performance audit of the State Department of Education. This would be performed by the state auditor.
  • House Bill 1044XX, which requires the Commissioners of the Land Office (CLO) to provide every teacher with a $500 annual stipend for classroom supplies.
  • House Bill 1045XX, which caps superintendent salaries to that of the governor’s. The governor’s salary is currently $147,000 per year. This legislation mimics federal law.
  • House Bill 1046XX, which consolidates superintendents across Oklahoma’s more than 500 school districts. This would only affect counties with populations less than 400,000. 
  • House Bill 1047XX, which requires the state superintendent to submit to the Legislature and the governor a rolling five-year plan to meet existing and future public education needs for funding and policy reform. 
  • House Bill 1048XX, which reallocates $15 million of lottery funding for textbooks and curriculum technology

“Over and over again, I listened to constituents and teachers voice concern about lottery funds, what the CLO was doing with the $2 billion it has in its account and why school administration was making so much money. Our hope is to make certain lawmakers are appropriately spending taxpayer dollars, and these smart measures are a crucial step in doing so,” said Roberts.

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