Dills Announces Intent to Reorganize Public School Oversight

Mike Seals - October 26, 2020 6:43 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Sheila Dills, R-Tulsa, announced her intent today to file legislation to reorganize oversight for all public schools for the upcoming 2021 session.

“Part one of the state audit of EPIC Charter Schools confirmed an alarming breakdown with the current system of public school oversight,” Dills said. “We must reorganize the system to ensure all schools are held accountable, not just virtual charter schools. Taxpayers deserve protection and efficient government, and it is imperative this never happens again in any school.”

Dills commends Chairmen of House Education Committees Rep. Rhonda Baker, R-Yukon, and Rep. Mark McBride, R-Moore, along with Speaker McCall for calling for hearings regarding the EPIC audit. “It is very important that all legislators are appropriately informed with the issues and that we have a way to ask the tough questions and contribute to solutions,” she said.

In 2019, Dills successfully authored House Bill 1395, which the governor signed into law and has become a focal point of the EPIC audit. The bill subjects Oklahoma’s public virtual charter schools to the same financial reporting requirements, financial audits, audit procedures and audit requirements as traditional public school districts. The bill also addressed teacher certification related to teacher transfers.

In 2020, she successfully authored and gained the governor’s signature on House Bill 2905 that addressed student attendance and truancy with virtual charter schools and student transfers between traditional and virtual schools.

“My experiences in working on virtual charter school transparency and accountability legislation have shown me where some of our problems exist with all public-school oversight,” Dills said. “I have always been interested in the big picture of education finance and policy, not just any one particular area of education. But there is only so much you can take on each year regarding the biggest agency in our state government. There is much work to be done before the upcoming session.”

Dills said she plans to work with her colleagues and the citizens of her district before finalizing comprehensive legislation for the coming year.


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