New laws from the 2021 OK Legislative session go into effect

Mike Seals - July 1, 2021 10:30 am

After one of the busiest capitol session in decades due to last year’s shutdown, a number of new laws go into effect Thursday that will make big changes here in the state.

Senate Bill 658 would make it illegal for school districts to require students to have the COVID-19 vaccine.

The bill would also add new rules for school districts to issue mask mandates.

The bill would require districts to consult with their local health department

Districts would also be required to list reasons for a mask mandate and what specific masks would be required.

School boards would also have to reconsider any mask mandate at every meeting.

OKSCPS will no longer require masks to be worn while on buses, in a school or district building or on any part of a district campus.

House Bill 2588 would allow schools to adopt a gun policy that would allow their staff to be armed.

The bill was amended while on the Oklahoma house floor, adding that the armed staff needs a handgun license and several hours of training.

It also depends how close a school is located from law enforcement.

It would be up to the school district to implement and the district could add in additional requirements for their armed staff.

“It would be up to the local school boards to decide if they want to choose this lower standard,” said Katherine Bishop, Vice President of the Oklahoma Education Association.

Senate Bill 222 creates the hope scholarship program act, providing scholarships to attend a private school of choice for students who have experienced bullying.

Beginning in the 2022-23 school year, the scholarship could be awarded to a student if they’ve been the victim of harassment, intimidation or bullying a minimum of three times within a school year.

Senate Bill 807: Requires school support employees to be entitled to pay any time a school district is closed due to an epidemic/pandemic.

House Bill 2078: Revises the state’s funding formula for schools.

House Bill 2272: OMMA requirement for marijuana businesses to declare foreign investments.

 

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