OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A measure that would make it more feasible for some students to go to technical schools has passed the Oklahoma Senate.

Sen. Dewayne Pemberton, (R-Muskogee), authored Senate Bill 27 to boost Oklahoma’s workforce by providing a new pathway for students to get licenses and certifications through career techs.

Under the measure, students who want to go to a career tech after high school could also be eligible for the Oklahoma Higher Learning Access Program scholarship.

“Our state and nation need more licensed professionals like electricians, plumbers, truckers, and healthcare professionals. These high-paying, licensed careers can be obtained through our CareerTech system, and expanding Oklahoma’s Promise to students who complete the less stringent core curriculum will help fill this workforce pipeline by providing them with this much-needed financial assistance,” Pemberton said. “We need to do all we can to support and encourage our students in whatever path they choose after high school to become successful, productive citizens. I’m grateful to my Senate colleagues for their support of this important workforce ready bill.”

Senate Bill 27 would also allow students to qualify for OHLAP with a composite SAT score of 1110 or higher.

Currently, to qualify for OHLAP, students must be an Oklahoma resident, enroll in the scholarship program in the 8th through 11th grade, meet family income requirements, maintain a 2.5 cumulative GPA, and be an upstanding citizen.

The bill was passed by the Oklahoma Senate unanimously. It now heads to the House of Representatives for further consideration.