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Sen. Ron Sharp, R-Shawnee, issued the following statement after state Superintendent Janet Barresi announced the 5th- and 8th-grade writing scores would be excluded from the calculation for the A-F report cards for public schools this year. The decision arose from concerns about the writing test scores from testing vendor CTB-McGraw Hill.
“I want to thank the State Department of Education for listening to the concerns raised by educators in my district and across the state.read more.
Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman today said the federal government’s decision to deny the extension of Oklahoma’s No Child Left Behind waiver will punish the state and further an agenda to control schools.
The decision could force Oklahoma schools to reexamine their budgets to comply with federal regulations. Bingman said the denial was a political statement intended to punish Oklahoma for implementing reforms that empower parents and communities and encourage the adoption of more rigorous educational standards.read more.
In recent months, candidates for elected office across Oklahoma have promised to fight against our ever-expanding federal government and its growing intrusion into our lives. Invoking the language of our founders, they lament the loss of state sovereignty but rarely recommend workable solutions to the problem. Our nation’s founders always feared an oppressive federal power and taught us that it’s our duty to free ourselves from oppression and reestablish our union.read more.
OKLAHOMA CITY – Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman recently appointed Sen. Frank Simpson to the National Conference of State Legislature’s (NCSL) Veterans and Military Affairs Task Force. The task force examines issues affecting military-community relations and the health and well-being of veterans.read more.
Three state legislators are working with a conservative think tank to ensure that welfare is used as the temporary safety net that it was designed to be rather than a long term crutch. Last week, Sen. Rob Standridge worked with the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA) in hosting a forum on welfare reform in Oklahoma along with Rep. Jason Nelson and Rep. Tom Newell. The featured speaker was conservative political activist Star Parker who discussed her visionary ideas on empowering those trapped in the welfare system.
The Oklahoma Aging Partnership (OAP), a nonpartisan coalition of organizations dealing with aging issues, has released its annual report. The organization includes the Oklahoma Alliance on Aging, the Oklahoma Silver Haired Legislature Alumni Association, AARP Oklahoma and the Oklahoma State Council on Aging. State Sen. Kim David is among those lawmakers who helped win passage for bills OAP identified as important to Oklahoma seniors.read more.
Sen. Dan Newberry today said most Oklahoma employers will pay lower unemployment taxes in 2015, due in part to key unemployment measures signed into law in recent years. Reforms have strengthened the state’s workforce system and unemployment insurance trust fund, allowing for lower unemployment benefit payments, he said.
As a result, the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission (OESC) this week announced that unemployment tax rates for all Oklahoma employers will be dropping to the minimum rate next year.