Thursday, December 02, 2021

Bullard files bill to require publishing of school district professional development materials online


Bullard files bill to require publishing of school district
professional development materials online

OKLAHOMA CITY – In order to improve transparency in Oklahoma schools and help parents better understand the education their children will receive in a district, Sen. David Bullard, R-Durant, has filed Senate Bill 1125. The measure will require school districts to annually publish their professional development materials on their public website.

“Parents have the right to know about the ongoing training of their local teachers as well as what curriculums districts are asking educators to teach. Taxpayers fund our education system, so this information should be readily available to improve accountability and transparency in Oklahoma schools,” Bullard said. “My fellow teachers do not deserve to be forced into training that is inappropriate or violates their conscience, and yet it happens every year in Oklahoma. What training a teacher receives will find its way into the classroom, so it’s imperative that the professional development materials be shared publicly.”   

Under the measure, districts may post links to the professional development materials or resources, titles of materials or resources to be used, or the actual materials or resources.

“In recent years, it’s come to the legislature’s attention that some districts are pushing inappropriate agendas, like Critical Race Theory, that parents and other taxpayers are vehemently opposed to. Teachers should not be forced to teach such theories, but out of fear for their jobs, they do what they’re told,” Bullard said. “Requiring the publishing of professional development materials will ensure teachers are being properly trained, but also protected, along with their students, from improper agendas and that parents and the public know exactly what’s being required of educators.”

Currently, school districts are required to offer professional development programs for their certified teachers and administrators. Program recommendations come from the district appointed professional development committees, which consist of classroom teachers, administrators, school counselors or licensed mental health providers, and parents, guardians, or custodians of students. These committees also consult with faculty from higher education institutions.

SB 1125 will be up for consideration when the legislative session begins in February.

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