State Chamber of Oklahoma and Oklahoma Achieves Applaud Governor for Signing Education Reforms

Oklahoma City (May 10, 2018) – The State Chamber of Oklahoma and Oklahoma Achieves thanked Governor Mary Fallin for signing SB 980 and HB 2860 into law. These bills will bring increased accountability and accessibility to schools and the teaching profession.

House Bill 2860 requires school districts to post their financial data on the home page of their website, making it easier for parents and community leaders to access the information. This legislation requires no new reporting from schools, but instead takes what is already required to be reported by law and make it easier for stakeholders to find. Districts can do this by adding the information to their website, or simply linking to the State Department of Education’s financial transparency site, where the data is already housed.

“Businesses, community leaders and parents care about how education tax dollars are being spent,” said State Chamber of Oklahoma Vice President of Government Affairs, Emily Shipley. “HB 2860 creates fiscal transparency for schools and empowers parents to know what amount of money is being spent on their child’s education.”

Senate Bill 980 offers career ladder opportunities for the teaching profession in Oklahoma. Currently, Oklahoma provides only one level of teaching certification. SB 980 develops two additional levels of certifications to offer teachers a career path to advance within the teaching profession.

SB 980 provides the state with a long-term solution to aid in retaining our best teachers in the classroom. The additional levels of certification that are provided under SB 980 will offer greater advancement opportunities and pay, which could strengthen teacher retention. This will also allow for differentiated pay for our best teachers.

“The first priority this legislative session was making sure teachers were paid a regionally competitive wage, which was accomplished,” said Oklahoma Achieves Executive Director, Jennifer Monies. “The private sector rewards standout professionals with promotions and the ability to move up within an organization; we believe teachers should be given that same access to advance in their careers without having to leave the classroom.”

The State Chamber of Oklahoma and Oklahoma Achieves advocated for both pieces of legislation, which were signed by the Governor on Monday and Thursday respectively.