SDE: Legislative Update Feb. 17, 2012

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No Child Left Behind Flexibility Granted

Oklahoma is one of 11 initial states granted a flexibility waiver from No Child Left Behind legislation. For Oklahoma schools, this will mean the flexibility to focus on the growth of each individual child rather than having to provide a one-size fits-all solution to an entire school. And it will move Oklahoma toward implementation of important reforms already passed into law, such as Teacher and Leader Effectiveness Evaluations, third-grade graduation, A-F grades for schools, Achieving Classroom Excellence standards and implementation of Oklahoma C3 Standards for curriculum. It will also allow the state to reward the highest-performing schools and help with intervention strategies for the lowest-performing priority schools. Supt. Barresi has said No Child Left Behind was a positive bipartisan reform that brought focus to accountability and rigor for traditionally underserved students, but now it is time to take this next step.

See a video overview and read more information about the flexibility request.

Governor Praises C3 Plan

Gov. Mary Fallin in her recent State of the State address praised Supt. Janet Barresi’s college, career and citizen readiness plan, known as the C3 Plan, being used to implement education reforms.

“Those three ‘Cs’ are exactly what we should be promoting in Oklahoma,” Fallin said in her address.   

Read more and watch a video of the State of the State.

For more information about Legislative updates, contact Jessica Russell, Director of Legislative Affairs and Policy Advisor
Oklahoma State Department of Education, (405) 397-6664 or Barrett Powers, Legislative & Policy Assistant, Oklahoma State Education Department, (405) 522-8032,

Legislative Goals

In her budget, Gov. Mary Fallin is requesting a $37.6 million supplement this year to ensure adequate funding of the teachers' health care benefits fund. She also is asking for a measure that would reduce liabilities to schools, allowing parents and community members to use school facilities for exercise. (Read HB 2817 by Rep. Sean Roberts, R-Hominy; or HB 2733 by Rep. Richard Morrisette, D-Oklahoma City) The governor also asks in her budget for financial rewards to encourage schools to serve nutritious foods and to promote physical activity. 

Supt. Barresi supports these goals. In addition, Barresi requested funds in the State Department of Education's budget to pay stipends for National Board Certified Teachers.