The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education honored Sen. Dewayne Pemberton last week with the 2019 Distinguished Service Award for Higher Education. The Muskogee Republican and retired educator thanked the Regents for the great honor.
“Education, regardless which level, is the greatest and most important gift we can provide to our citizens. However, having a quality higher education system is the key to preparing our citizens to be competitive in the global and everchanging workforce,” Pemberton said. “During my tenure, I have fought tirelessly to protect higher education funding and programs as well as the educators who are changing lives daily. I’m humbled and grateful to the Regents for giving me this tremendous honor.”
Pemberton serves as Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Education as well as a member of the Senate Appropriations, Education, Agriculture and Veterans Committees. He dedicated 36 years of his life to public education in the state as a teacher, coach, athletic director and principal.
“We should be so proud of our tremendous higher education system in Oklahoma,” Pemberton said. "It is one of the finest in the nation, and I applaud our state regents and thousands of college and university administrators and faculty around the state whose dedication and hard work is changing Oklahoma’s tomorrow for the better.”
Higher education budgetary accomplishments from 2019 legislative session:
Higher ed received just over $25.3 million in additional funding over the previous year for a total budget of more than $801.8 million
Additional funding of $3.3 million helped fully fund concurrent enrollment for high school seniors for the first time
Another $18 million provided Higher Education faculty with a 3.5% pay raise