School apprenticeship expansion bill sent to House

Mike Seals - March 4, 2021 11:34 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY – Sen. David Bullard, R-Durant, said he was pleased with the passage of Senate Bill 619, a measure to provide on the job experience for more of Oklahoma’s high school students. The Senate unanimously approved the bill Thursday expanding the Apprenticeships, Internships and Mentorships Act of 2016 to include sophomores, 16 years or older.

“This has been an extremely successful program statewide that has given students hands-on experience in various fields helping them make better informed decisions about their future,” Bullard said. “So many kids go to college or enter the workforce with no idea what career they want to pursue. This allows them the opportunity to put their particular skills and knowledge to work in different areas while also pursing their passions to find the best career for them. This program also helps them know what licensing, training or higher education they may need to pursue their chosen career.”

To address concerns from school districts and further increase participation, SB 619 allows schools to obtain liability insurance coverage to protect student participants. Schools cannot directly or indirectly charge students or parents for the coverage, and the bill clarifies that failure to obtain insurance does not make the school’s governing board legally liable. The State Board of Education must review apprenticeships, internships and mentorships to determine any eligibility for academic credit towards graduation. The bill also protects districts under the Governmental Tort Claims Act.

Rep. Kevin West, R-Moore, is the principal House author of SB 619, which now moves to the House.

For more information, contact:  Sen. Bullard: (405) 521-5586 or [email protected]


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