Ed Committee approves bills to help military family students

Mike Seals - February 2, 2021 11:30 am

OKLAHOMA CITY – The Senate Education Committee unanimously approved two bills Tuesday to help military families easily transfer to Oklahoma schools. Sen. Frank Simpson, R-Springer, is the author of Senate Bills 68 and 69 that he said are needed to help children of active military parents return to the classroom quickly following a transfer.

SB 68 provides for school district residency status for children with parents who have been transferred or will be transferred to an Oklahoma military base while on active military duty. The bill was requested by the U.S. Department of Defense to bring Oklahoma in line with other states under the National Compact on the Education of Military Children.

SB 69 allows children of active military personnel being transferred to Oklahoma to enroll in a statewide virtual charter school.  Currently, only Oklahoma residents can enroll in virtual charters.

“With four military installations in Oklahoma, we have a lot of families transferring in and out. Military life is difficult enough – I want to make enrolling in school as easy as possible, so these families have one less stressful thing to deal with when they move,” Simpson said.

Both bills require schools to accept electronic enrollment applications for these students and the parents must provide proof of residence within ten days of moving to Oklahoma.

The committee also unanimously approved Simpson’s SB 67 allowing the State Board of Education to grant an exception to the requirements for certification examinations for teacher candidates who are deaf. Those granted such exceptions could teach in American Sign Language immersion programs, the Oklahoma School for the Deaf, programs for the deaf or other classroom settings where American Sign Language is used as the language of instruction.

The three measures now move to the full Senate for consideration.


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