New Oklahoma Laws Take Effect in Public Schools

KTUL - July 6, 2023 6:23 am

The beginning of the month also marked the beginning of a new path forward for Oklahoma schools and teachers.

The start of school may still be off on the horizon, but this month marks the introduction of several new laws affecting our struggling public school system.

First up, school safety is being improved.

A new law grants $150 million for schools to participate in a three-year pilot program for school resource officers and security enhancements on school grounds.

Another law provides other transportation options for students living outside a school district’s boundaries.

On the teacher’s front, paid maternity leave is now included for Oklahoma teachers.

There is also a pay increase coming, ranging from $3,000-$6,000 a year based on years of experience.

“We are grateful that we are moving in the right direction,” said Shawna Mott Wright, president of the Tulsa Classroom Teacher’s Association. “Our teachers in Oklahoma are committed to our students and we are degreed professionals with experience and constant professional learning and should be paid as such. So this is a definite great first step, but until we have a qualified teacher in every classroom we can’t stop.”

Another law taking effect this month means schools will not be allowed to ban Native American students from wearing eagle feathers or other forms of tribal regalia at their graduation ceremonies.

All of these laws kicked in at midnight this past Saturday.

 

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