Senate -- Communications Division
-- Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
RELEASE February 22, 2019
Senate Review by Senator J.J. Dossett
weeks of the session behind us now, were still extremely
busy with committee work ahead of the February 28th deadline.
Were also getting to the point in the session where were
seeing more bills coming to the floor of the Senate for votes.
One of the
things Ive talked about since I first came to the Senate
is the need to let teachers teach. Far too often, the state and
federal government have decided they know far better than the
men and women who have devoted their lives to education. I really
believe the intentions were goodbut the unintended consequences
have tied up teachers with burdensome testing, mandatory reports
and paperwork that keep them from doing the job they were hired
to doto teach their students and prepare them for life by
giving them a quality education. Its frustrating for educators,
and just as importantly, it takes away from quality instructional
time that our children need and deserve.
week we chipped away at one of those mandates. We had a law on
the books here in Oklahoma that required teachers to fill out
reports to parents tracking all the physical activities students
were involved in at school. Again, I believe it was well intentioned.
Childhood obesity, diabetes and other health concerns are legitimate
issues and we need to encourage kids to exercise. But requiring
teachers to fill out all these reports simply takes away time
that could be better spent on teaching. This law hasnt made
one child healthier, and many schools have simply been ignoring
I introduced legislation to repeal this unnecessary and burdensome
requirement. On Wednesday, my legislation, Senate Bill 36, won
unanimous approval by the full Senate. Now the bill crosses over
to the House side. Im hopeful they will move quickly in
joining us in repealing this law.
I still say
if we are truly concerned about the quality of education our children
receive, one of the best things we can do is work to restore the
funding cuts our schools have endured in recent years. Yes, we
did pass a pay raise last yearbut there is more to be done.
Our schools need modern textbooks and they need to have enough
for students to actually be able to take them home to study and
do homework. We need more technology in the classroom. The list
goes on and on.
been several voucher bills moving through the Legislature this
year that would basically use public dollars to help with the
cost of a private school education. I would argue if we were fully
funding our schools as we should be, they could address those
needs and more. We must restore the education funding cuts from
the last 10 years before we even begin to consider programs that
would pull dollars out of our traditional public school systems.
programs will further erode the resources our public schools haveresources
that are already inadequate. Until the day comes when we really
are providing schools with the full funding they need for the
classroom, teachers and support staff, I will continue to oppose
any proposal that takes away public dollars from our public schools
and the children who depend on them.
your comments on state government and the issues before us. Please
feel free to contact me by writing to Senator J.J. Dossett at
the State Capitol, Room 521-A, Oklahoma City, OK, 73105; call
me at (405) 521-5566.