Senator Sean Burrage
Co-Chairman of Senate Committee on Rules
Senate District 2
Rogers and Mayes Counties
For Immediate Release:
February 27, 2008
Sen. Sean Burrage
Graduation Coach Bill Unanimously Approved by Senate
Burrage Says Program Will Help Curb Oklahoma High School Dropout
A bill that would match at-risk Oklahoma high school students with
community mentors, unanimously passed on the Oklahoma State Senate
floor by a 47-0 vote today.
Authored by State Senator Sean Burrage, the bill creates a graduation
coach model within the Oklahoma State Department of Education that
will help students stay on track academically, while setting up
an a mentor system to help guide students through with out-of-classroom
obstacles that could hinder graduation.
Governor Brad Henry initially proposed the idea during the annual
State of the State Address in February. Burrage, a Democrat from
Claremore, said the program can dramatically curb Oklahoma dropout
rates and pointed to the success in Georgia where a similar coaching
program is thriving and has been expanded due to its success.
“School enrollment numbers are going up but their dropout
rate is drastically declining in Georgia. Our dropout rate in Oklahoma
ranks 33rd in the nation and we had over 5,500 Oklahoma students
dropout of high school last year. We have a responsibility to provide
every Oklahoma child, including our most vulnerable students, an
opportunity to succeed and I believe this program is a new and resourceful
way to help our students stay on track in school and learn valuable
life skills,” Burrage said.
He said Oklahoma students will be less likely to fall through the
cracks of the public school system with the graduation coach program.
“I hope we build a program that will help Oklahoma and its
young people succeed,” Burrage said. “Providing Oklahoma
students greater opportunity today will allow them to achieve greater
For more information contact:
Senator Burrage' Office: (405) 521-5555