Oklahoma’s deaf and hearing impaired students are one step closer to having better access to specialized education. The State Senate unanimously passed House Bill 1646 Thursday authored by Chickasha Republicans Senator Ron Justice and House Speaker Pro Tempore Susan Winchester.
“This is an important bill for our students with special needs because it will modify the Education Open Transfer Act to allow them to transfer to school districts with specialized deaf education programs at any time during the school year,” said Justice. "These are expensive programs to offer and many public schools just can’t afford them, but these students shouldn’t suffer because of that. Every student deserves to have access to the best education possible and this measure will give them that opportunity.”
Under the Open Transfer Act, a parent or guardian must apply for a transfer by the February 1 deadline in order to be eligible to attend a new school the following school year. HB 1646 makes an exception for students with special hearing needs so that they can transfer at any time during a school year.
“The Jane Brooks School in Chickasha asked for help for families facing this situation. It is really important that parents have the opportunity to do what’s best for their children, no matter what time of year,” Winchester said.
The measure is now awaiting approval by the Governor.