Plan to shed dozens of education mandates clears Senate

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OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma public school districts could decide to no longer follow dozens of state requirements, like hiring certified teachers or paying minimum salaries, under a bill narrowly passed in the Oklahoma Senate.

The Senate voted 25-20 Thursday to approve the bill over the bipartisan objection of some former teachers who serve in the Senate.

Edmond Republican Sen. Clark Jolley, who wrote the bill, says well-intended lawmakers over the years have micromanaged local schools and passed too many mandates on educators.

He says any plan would have to be approved by the local teachers and board of education.

But Owasso Democrat J.J. Dossett, a high school teacher recently elected to the Senate, says he is concerned it eliminates critical protections for schools and teachers.