Gov. Fallin Refuses Testing Fairness, Vetoes HB 2625

PARENTS, EDUCATORS AND COMMUNITY MEMBERS' PLEAS FALL ON DEAF EARS

Oklahoma City – Today, Gov. Mary Fallin used her power to veto House Bill 2625, ignoring petitions and cries for help from the very people who elected her – thousands of parents, educators and community members throughout the state. It is evident, the pleas for support of the 7,970 eight- and nine-year-olds, fell on deaf ears.

“The current Reading Sufficiency Act is unfair and unprincipled. Gov. Fallin’s decision to veto the very bill that would help right the wrong our state has done to these young children is disappointing and unacceptable. If the sincere focus is what’s best for children, then she would know our children are much more than a test score. Her lack of support for our children and their parents is evident today,” said Linda Hampton, OEA President.

The governor has stated many times that she is in support of local control and encourages parental support. Though in light of this decision, it leaves many questioning the validity of her statements.

HB 2625 would allow students to advance to the fourth grade if they scored proficient or above on any of the other state approved reading tests taken throughout the school year and would have offered more local control by establishing retention/promotion teams. The teams would consist of parents, teachers, principals and reading specialist – individuals who know best the child’s overall abilities.

“It is unfortunate that our governor would oppose not only the parents and educators who trusted her as the leader of our state, but also oppose the senators and representatives who voted to support this legislation. We are very appreciative of the legislators who have overwhelmingly supported our students with this legislation and we call on their support one more time to override the governor’s veto,” said Hampton.

This veto power follows the 2014-15 budget announcement; where the governor did not fully fund the Reading Sufficiency Act, the mandate almost 8,000 children were unable to meet due to lack of resources and assessment appropriateness. In fact, at least half of the students who scored unsatisfactory on the test were either special needs students or English Language Learners (ELLs).

“The educators, parents, and students in Moore deserve to have some say in when, why, and how students are retained. Our community believes that local control and oversight is the best approach for managing our students’ learning. HB 2625 protects the integrity of the Reading Sufficiency Act while respecting the rights of educators, parents, and students in determining the proper plans to support student learning. We expected Governor Fallin to do what is right for Oklahomans by supporting this measure in favor of local control,” said Elise Robillard, MACT President.

OEA members will continue contacting legislators and asking that they show their support for our young Oklahomans, be their voice and override the Governor’s veto of HB 2625.


 

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