OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma legislature is pushing back on the authority of the State Superintendent and the Board of Education.
Rep. Mark McBride, R-Moore, authored HB 2569 and HB 2562.
HB2569 was heard in committee Tuesday.
It would put a moratorium on new rules for accreditation imposed on school districts from the State Board of Education. Any new rules would need authorization from the legislature.
McBride said the move comes as Ryan Walters continues his threatening rhetoric towards public schools.
“It’s fear mongering, I think,” said McBride. “And teachers, librarians, superintendents, principals are in fear of what he might do.”
The Moore Republican did not shy away from calling out Walters during his presentation of the bill.
“I just want to I want to put this gentleman in a box,” said McBride. “We have got to focus on public education and not his crazy destruction of public education.”
In the last couple of weeks, State Superintendent Walters proposed a rule regarding what books are allowed in school libraries. Districts that violate of the rule could end up losing accreditation.
McBride is in favor removing inappropriate content from school libraries, but he does not agree with how Walters is running the State Department of Education.
“He’s done nothing in his time other than take pictures off a wall,” said McBride.
Walters and his office have not responded to multiple requests for comment.
The House Education Committee passed HB2569 with a 10-1 vote. It will now head to a House floor.
“My leadership is on board with me. This will pass the House floor,” said McBride.
McBride doesn’t want to stop with a moratorium on new rules.
The lawmaker authored HB2562 which would expand the number of members on the State Board of Education to 11. Right now there are seven, with six of them appointed by the Governor and the 7th being the State Superintendent.
McBride wants the Governor’s monopoly appointment power taken away and he wants to require public school experience with some of those members.