Play to Learn Act Unanimously Passes Committee, Headed to Floor

Mike Seals - February 10, 2021 10:57 pm

Rep. Jacob Rosecrants

OKLAHOMA CITY – Legislation to expand the use of play-based learning in Oklahoma public schools passed out of the House Common Education Committee on Tuesday with a vote of 14 to 0.

The Oklahoma Play to Learn Act (HB1569), authored by Rep. Jacob Rosecrants, D-Norman, declares the Legislature’s intent to focus on the importance of child-centered, play-based learning as the most developmentally appropriate way for young children to learn.

The measure authorizes educators to create learning environments that promote movement, creative expression, exploration, socialization, and reading for pleasure, among other things. Additionally, HB1569 allows school districts to provide ongoing early childhood professional development for teachers and administrators, which may include existing State Department of Education professional development programs.

“The Oklahoma Play to Learn Act is a product of early childhood education advocates coming together to create legislation that will positively impact our students,” Rosecrants said. “This legislation is about fostering an environment that encourages children to learn new things and also enjoy doing so.”

The legislation received support from Rep. Kyle Hilbert, R-Bristow, who offered a friendly amendment that says a school district shall not prohibit a teacher from utilizing play-based learning in early childhood education. Hilbert then signed on as a co-author of the legislation.

“This bill empowers educators and will have a positive impact on the lives of our students,” Hilbert said. “Children learn better when they are engaged with the material and play-based learning is a method that improves that engagement taking place.”

HB1569 is now available to be heard on the House Floor.

“While our support is picking up momentum, there are still many hurdles to pass before this bill becomes law,” Rosecrants said. “I encourage everyone in favor of this legislation to call your local legislators in support of play-based learning.”

Constituents of House District 46 can reach Rep. Jacob Rosecrants at (405) 557-7329 or email [email protected].

 

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