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May 22, 2014

School leaders happy with override of Fallin veto

DUNCAN — School superintendents in Stephens County said Wednesday they are  pleased that changes made in the Reading Sufficient Act will remain intact. Gov. Mary Fallin had vetoed the bill making the changes but the House and Senate voted overwhelmingly to override the governor’s veto.

Duncan Superintendent Sherry Labyer:

“We are very happy it was overruled,” Labyer said. “We want to put together a committee. We want to have our parents to have input. We believe we know our kids, parents know their kids better than the government.”

Labyer said State Legislature has expressed interest in local control. And by overriding Fallin’s decision, the Legislature has returned the power to teachers and parents, she said.

Central High Superintendent Bennie Newton:

“I think she made a big mistake in vetoing it. I think it shows she’s not really for what’s best for education. I know she made the statment that if a child can’t read at the fourth grade level, we’re setting them up for failure. I totally disagree with that. I think it shows what’s best for education in this state is not a priotirty for her. I think she’s just like Dr. Barrisisi. She’s going to do what she’s what she’s going do,  and it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. What’s best for education is to listen to thel people. Listen to the educators, listen to the parents ... sometimes they do have good ideas.”

  Newton said he was “ecstatic” over the Legislature override  of Fallin’s veto.

“I appreciate how the House and Senate listened to the educators and the parents,” he said.

Marlow Superintendent George Coffman:

“I think it’s definitely a good thing. These are decisions school districts should be making anyway. Just a personal opinion. There’s much more than a single test score to make that decision.”

Comanche Superintendent Terry Davidson:

“I applaud the Legislature for doing what should be done. At the very least, it’s a local control issue.”

Davidson said the House bill was designed to bring the decision back to the school districts, which have a better knowledge of each student. He said he didn’t understand why Fallin vetoed the bill, describing the decision as “baffling.”

He praised the Senate and House for overriding the veto.

“It was the right decision. That gives us a little hope. We appreciate the decision they made.”

Empire Superintendent Vicki Davison:

“We’re going to always do our best to work in the parameters we’re given. If it’s a negative, we’re going to do our best to make it a positive at Empire.”

She said she was impressed by the state legislators who took the initiative to put teachers and parents back in charge of the decision.

“It seems like this is what the people want,” Davison said.

Velma-Alma Superintendent Raymond Rice:

“When you return that control to the school districts, that’s a good thing in my opinion. We need to have the authority at the local level to decide if a student can go onto the fourth grade.”

 

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