Apprenticeship Program Bill passes Education Committee

Mike Seals - February 2, 2021 10:50 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY – A measure to give more high school students an opportunity to participate in school-sponsored apprenticeships, mentorships and internships passed the Senate Education Committee unanimously Tuesday. Sen. David Bullard, R-Durant, authored Senate Bill 619 to allow sophomores, 16 years or older, to participate in the program created under the Apprenticeships, Internships and Mentorships Act of 2016.

“Students can only learn so much in books—they need real life experience to find what jobs, industries and careers they’re most interested in and in which they would be most successful,” Bullard said. “Schools are focused on teaching students basic subjects, but that doesn’t help them decide what they want to do the rest of their lives and what steps they need to take to pursue that career. This will give them real life experience, so they’ll know what additional training or high education they need to get into the field of their choice.”

Currently, the program is only open to juniors and seniors. SB 619 allows the governing body of each participating school to obtain liability insurance coverage to protect students participating in such programs. Schools are prohibited from directly or indirectly charging students or parents for the coverage and clarifies that failure to obtain insurance does not making the school’s governing board legally liable. The bill also directs the State Board of Education to review apprenticeships, internships and mentorships to determine if they are eligible for academic credit toward meeting graduation requirements. Schools districts are also protected under the Governmental Tort Claims Act.

“The main goal with this bill is to help students be career ready after graduation. This program can help them find their passion and get them better prepared to enter the workforce after graduation or help them make better informed decisions about where to go to college and what to major in,” Bullard said. “Our kids need more than to know how to read and write, they need help figuring out how they can best utilize the skills they learn in high school to have a successful future.”

SB 619 will next be considered by the full Senate.

For more information, contact:Sen. David Bullard: (405) 521-5586 or [email protected]


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