SB 1862, the charter school expansion bill authored by Senate President Pro Tem Glenn Coffee, passed out of the Appropriations Committee today.
The bill will give the mayors of Oklahoma’s two largest cities chartering authority, while removing the number of caps on allowed charter schools, a major education reform that will increase opportunity for students and parents in the state’s two largest cities.
Key points of SB 1862 include:
· Allow municipalities with a population of 300,000 or more to sponsor/authorize charter schools;
· Remove the number of caps on charter schools;
· Allowing existing charter schools to participate in school board bond elections;
· Mandate the State Department of Education and the Department of Central Services publish a list of all vacant buildings owned by the state or school districts that may be suitable for charter schools, as is being done in Arizona, Delaware and South Carolina;
· Allow Native American tribes to authorize and sponsor charter schools;
“I’m pleased to see this significant reform pass its first hurdle toward becoming law,” Coffee said. “Charter school have proven success in academic performance, and this reform will expand educational opportunities for children across the state.”
Coffee’s SB 2033, which allows school districts to institute a performance pay program, and SB 2083, which funds the program, also passed out of committee.