OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma House of Representatives passed legislation late Wednesday to change the circumstances under which schools can lose their accreditation until the Legislature appropriates $50 million more to education than in Fiscal Year 2019.
Under Senate Bill 193, schools would not lose their accreditation or be assessed a financial penalty for receiving a deficiency in accreditation until the Legislature appropriates $50 million more than it did in FY19 for the financial support of public schools.
SB193 also requires the State Dept. of Education to present an audit of class sizes statewide to the Speaker of the House and the Senate President Pro Tempore by 2022. According to the State Dept. of Education, this has not been done since 2012.
SB 193 was authored by Sen. Ron Sharp (R-Shawnee), Rep. Mark McBride (R-Moore) and Rep. Toni Hasenbeck (R-Elgin). Hasenbeck presented the bill on the House floor late Wednesday evening.
“Senate Bill 193 honors the hard work that was done last session to put money into schools and to create accountability for those dollars,” Hasenbeck said. “When we put $50 million into the formula, schools will begin putting in place the accreditation standards for committees on textbooks, advisory or other areas at the local level. At $100 million, which could happen in a year, schools will need to start meeting accreditation standards for class size mandates for kindergarten and first grade.”
Hasenbeck said the bill is supported by multiple education groups, including OSSBA, OSBE, CCOSA, OEA and the Secretary of State’s office.
SB 193 and its emergency passed the House 90-0. It is now eligible to be considered by the Governor.