SB 2100 will hurt public schools and our kids

Recently the state of Oklahoma passed a bill that allows for school boards to vote on de-regulation of the district.  The person that launched this bill is Jubar Shumate, a good friend of mine from my days at Housing at the University of Oklahoma.  Jabar was our advisor and mentor to several of us in student leadership.  Jabar stood up for students when he was at OU.  Now as a state senator, he’s against students.  The bill means that school districts that deregulate no longer have to follow the state mandates of required core classes.  The district can force teachers to teach at schools, such as McClain High School in Tulsa, where acts of violence are common, and if the teacher declines, they can be fired.  Teachers lose all due process even without the assistance of the teacher’s union.  Teachers won’t be required to prepare students for college courses or technical schools.  No chance for performance based pay increases.  Is this what we want for our children?  An education system that fails them from the start because the district deregulated and scared off all of the good teachers? 

Here is the text of the bill:

STATE OF OKLAHOMA 2nd Session of the 51st Legislature (2008) SENATE BILL 2100                   By: Ford and Jolley     AS INTRODUCED An Act relating to schools; amending 70 O.S. 2001, Sections 3-132, as amended by Section 1, Chapter 257, O.S.L. 2007, and 3-142, as last amended by Section 4, Chapter 257, O.S.L. 2007 (70 O.S. Supp. 2007, Sections 3-132 and 3-142), which relate to the Oklahoma Charter Schools Act; authorizing sponsorship of charter districts by the State Board of Education; modifying definition of charter school to include charter district; providing exception to certain prohibition; providing for allocation of State Aid for charter districts; directing the State Board of Education to establish a Charter District Pilot Program; authorizing selection of districts from certain categories; providing for application of certain provisions to charter districts; providing for codification; and providing an effective date.    BE IT ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA:SECTION 1.     AMENDATORY     70 O.S. 2001, Section 3-132, as amended by Section 1, Chapter 257, O.S.L. 2007 (70 O.S. Supp. 2007, Section 3-132), is amended to read as follows:Section 3-132.  A.  The Oklahoma Charter Schools Act shall apply only to charter schools formed and operated under the provisions of the act.  Charter schools shall be sponsored only as follows:1.  By a school district with an average daily membership of five thousand (5,000) or more and which all or part of the school district is located in a county having more than five hundred thousand (500,000) population according to the latest Federal Decennial Census;2.  By a technology center school district only when the charter school is located in a school district served by the technology center school district and only if the local school district has an average daily membership of five thousand (5,000) or more and which all or part of the school district is located in a county having more than five hundred thousand (500,000) population according to the latest Federal Decennial Census; or3.  By a comprehensive or regional institution that is a member of The Oklahoma State System of Higher Education only when the charter school is located in a school district that has an average daily membership of five thousand (5,000) or more and which all or part of the school district is located in a county having more than five hundred thousand (500,000) population according to the latest Federal Decennial Census.  In addition, the institution shall have a teacher education program accredited by the Oklahoma Commission for Teacher Preparation and have a branch campus or constituent agency physically located within the school district in which the charter school is located; or4.  By the State Board of Education as provided for in Section 3 of this act.B.  Charter schools formed pursuant to the act shall serve as a pilot program to demonstrate the potential of expanding charter schools to other parts of the state.  Any charter or enterprise school operating in the state pursuant to an agreement with the board of education of a school district on July 1, 1999, may continue to operate pursuant to that agreement or may contract with the board of education of the school district pursuant to the Oklahoma Charter Schools Act.  Nothing in the Oklahoma Charter Schools Act shall prohibit a school district from applying for exemptions from certain education-related statutory requirements as provided for in the Educational Deregulation Act.C.  Beginning January 1, 2008, not more than three new charter schools shall be established each fiscal year in each county in the state having more than five hundred thousand (500,000) population according to the latest Federal Decennial Census.  For purposes of this subsection, a “new charter school” shall mean a charter school proposed by an applicant that has never had a contract with a sponsor.D.  For purposes of the Oklahoma Charter Schools Act, “charter school” means a public school established by contract with a board of education of a school district, an area vocational-technical school district, or a higher education institution, or a charter district established by contract with the State Board of Education pursuant to the Oklahoma Charter Schools Act to provide learning that will improve student achievement and as defined in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, 20 U.S.C. 8065.E.  A charter school may consist of a new school site, new school sites or all or any portion of an existing school site.  An entire school district may not become a charter school site, except as provided for in Section 3 of this act.SECTION 2.     AMENDATORY     70 O.S. 2001, Section 3-142, as last amended by Section 4, Chapter 257, O.S.L. 2007 (70 O.S. Supp. 2007, Section 3-142), is amended to read as follows:Section 3-142.  A.  For purposes of funding, a charter school sponsored by a board of education of a school district shall be considered a site within the school district in which the charter school is located.  The student membership of the charter school shall be considered separate from the student membership of the district in which the charter school is located for the purpose of calculating weighted average daily membership pursuant to Section 18-201.1 of this title and state aid pursuant to Section 18-200.1 of this title.  For charter schools sponsored by a board of education of a school district, the sum of the separate calculations for the charter school and the school district shall be used to determine the total State Aid allocation for the district in which the charter school is located.  A charter school shall receive from the sponsoring school district, the State Aid revenue generated by its students for the applicable year, less up to five percent (5%) of the total, which may be retained by the school district as a fee for administrative services rendered.  For charter schools sponsored by the board of education of a technology center school district or a higher education institution, the State Aid allocation for the charter school shall be distributed by the State Board of Education.  Not more than five percent (5%) of the total allocation may be charged by the sponsor as a fee for administrative services rendered.  For charter districts sponsored by the State Board of Education as provided for in Section 3 of this act, the State Aid allocation shall be calculated pursuant to the provisions of Section 18-200.1 of this title.  The State Board of Education shall determine the policy and procedure for making payments to a charter school.B.  The weighted average daily membership for the first year of operation of a charter school shall be determined initially by multiplying the actual enrollment of students as of August 1 by 1.333.  The charter school shall receive revenue equal to that which would be generated by the estimated weighted average daily membership calculated pursuant to this subsection.  At midyear, the allocation for the charter school shall be adjusted using the first quarter weighted average daily membership for the charter school calculated pursuant to subsection A of this section.C.  A charter school shall be eligible to receive any other aid, grants or revenues allowed to other schools.  A charter school sponsored by the board of education of a technology center school district or, a higher education institution, or the State Board of Education shall be considered a local education agency for purposes of funding.D.  A charter school, in addition to the money received from the state, may receive money from any other source.  Any unexpended nonstate funds, excluding local revenue, may be reserved and used for future purposes.SECTION 3.     NEW LAW     A new section of law to be codified in the Oklahoma Statutes as Section 3-132.1 of Title 70, unless there is created a duplication in numbering, reads as follows:A.  The State Board of Education shall establish a Charter District Pilot Program.  Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection C of Section 3-132 of Title 70 of the Oklahoma Statutes, the Board may approve a maximum of ten districts for the pilot program.  A maximum of two districts from each of the following categories may be selected:1.  Large urban;2.  Small urban;3.  Suburban;4.  Large rural;5.  Small rural;A large district shall have an average daily membership of more than five hundred twenty-nine (529) students.  A small district shall have an average daily membership of five hundred twenty-nine (529) or fewer students.B.  A district board of education that desires to participate in the pilot program shall submit an application to become a charter district to the State Board of Education pursuant to the provisions of Section 3-134 of Title 70 of the Oklahoma Statutes.C.  The provisions in the Oklahoma Charter Schools Act that apply to charter schools shall be applicable to charter districts.SECTION 4.  This act shall become effective November 1, 2008. 51-2-3367 KM   4/23/2008 8:53:59 AM