Saturday, March 05, 2022

4-H Excused Absence bill passes out of State House committee

Rep. Rick West Passes 4-H Excused Absence Bill Out of Committee

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Rick West, R-Heavener, this week won unanimous committee passage of a bill that will grant students involved in 4-H activities or projects an excused absence from school so their grades will not be adversely affected.

House Bill 2991 prohibits schools from marking students with an unexcused absence if they are participating in 4-H activities approved by the county 4-H educator. The student is required to provide documented proof of their participation, and must be given the opportunity to make up any missed work.

"This bill is just saying that kids involved in 4-H programs can't be penalized when they miss school for taking part in approved activities," West said. "This is a terrific organization that serves students across the state of Oklahoma. Because it is not considered a school activity, however, participants have to rely on the goodwill of their individual schools or school boards to determine if they will be counted with an excused or an unexcused absence when they attend leadership programs, livestock shows, judging contests or one of the many other activities offered. This bill ensures across-the-board protection for these students."

In 4-H programs, kids and teens complete hands-on projects in areas like health, science, agriculture and civic engagement. They receive guidance from educators and adult mentors and are encouraged to take on proactive leadership roles. Kids experience 4‑H in every county and parish in the country through in-school and after-school programs, school and community clubs and 4‑H camps. Oklahoma 4‑H is delivered by OSU Extension — with offices based in all 77 counties.

HB2991 passed the House Common Education with a vote of 12-0. It is now eligible to be heard on the House floor.

Rick West serves District 3 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. His district includes part of LeFlore County.


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