A bill by State Senator John Ford, who represents Craig, Nowata and Washington counties, that will establish a charter school district pilot program passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee by a 10-6 vote.
Currently, certain school districts are allowed to have individual charter schools within their jurisdiction. Charter schools are supported by state funding, but exempt from many state regulations. Senate Bill 2100 would establish a trial program allowing 10 entire school districts in Oklahoma to become charter districts.
Senator Ford recognized the opportunity of Senate Bill 2100 and praised its passage.
“With school districts given the choice to become a charter district, we are making way for creativity in education and giving parents more opportunities and options for their children’s education,” he said.
“In this innovative pilot program, the burden of many state mandates is removed, the locally elected school board is given more input in what happens in the district, and at the same time, the state retains oversight.”
In Senate Bill 2100, a seven member board will be established that will create criteria for a school district to become a charter district. With this bill, if a district becomes a charter district, there will be no change to funding for that district. SB 2100 will now be sent to the Senate floor for debate.