Thursday, April 19, 2007

Urge your Representative to Vote YES on SB 661

SB 661 is the Oklahoma State Senate version of an amended Oklahoma Charter School Act. It passed the Oklahoma House as HB 1589 easily and earlier passed the Senate in its third reading. It comes to the floor of the House tomorrow, Friday 4-20-07. Time is of the essence.

This bill basically amends the Charter School Act to allow for other potential sponsors for charter schools. Right now the TPS School Board has a monopoly on sponsorship. And earlier this year they extended their self-imposed moratorium on new charter schools for Tulsa. Vo-Tech passed on sponsoring 3 charter schools in 2004 and walked out of mediation on the issue. Without the teeth of binding arbitration Vo-Tech cannot and will not be compelled to sponsor a charter school. The result: Tulsa has been stuck on 3 charter schools, the last one sponsored in 2001. OKC, by comparison, has at least 10 during the same time period. SB 661 would allow for the State Department of Education, certain higher education institutions, and even city councils as potential sponsors for charter schools.

It is the Tulsa Chiggers informed opinion that this is a good amendment to the Charter School Act and should be passed. Urge your state Representative to vote YES!

You can find your senator by following this link.

End the "shotgun wedding" that now exists between TPS and the Tulsa charter schools.

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