Governor Signs Bill to Add AP Courses to All High Schools
Mike Seals - May 20, 2020 10:26 pm
OKLAHOMA CITY – Legislation requiring all Oklahoma public high schools to offer at least four Advanced Placement (AP) courses to students beginning in the 2024-25 school year was signed into law by the governor Tuesday.
House Bill 3400, authored by State Rep. Rhonda Baker, R-Yukon, and State Sen. Gary Stanislawski, R-Tulsa, allows schools to choose the type of AP courses offered.
“Data-driven research shows that high school students are better prepared for higher education coursework and the workforce when they take a blend of both AP and concurrent enrollment classes,” said Baker, the chair of the House Common Education Committee. “Performing well in these classes and on subsequent exams also help reduce the cost of college tuition. In addition, having a skilled and trained workforce puts Oklahoma in a better position to attract job creators and build a stronger state economy.”
Stanislawski, chair of the Senate Education Committee, is serving his final regular legislative session due to term limits. He said he was gratified that this was his last measure to present to the full Senate.
“Throughout my time in the Senate, I’ve fought to expand educational opportunities throughout Oklahoma,” Stanislawski said. “I appreciate the opportunity for this to be my final bill, promoting advanced placement courses, regardless of what zip code a child lives in. That’s a legacy we can all be proud of.”
Baker said schools will be able to select the platform on which to offer these courses, whether in a traditional classroom setting, a virtual option or through an area CareerTech. The bill directs the State Department of Education to provide information to all local boards of education, to be distributed to students and parents, on available opportunities and the AP enrollment process. Virtual schools also would need to make these course options available.
Nearly six in 10 Oklahoma schools do not currently offer a single AP course, many of those in rural areas. Baker said this legislation is a way to ensure all students throughout the state have access to at least some AP courses so they are equally prepared for higher learning and the job market.
She said this measure builds on several investments the state has made to expand AP, including allocating funding for teacher training, test fee assistance for low-income students, and grants for districts to start new AP programs.