Common Education

House Committee

Committee on Common Education

Committees News & Announcements

Mar 14, 2024
Recent Posts

Ballot Proposal Would Allow Former Teachers to Reenter Classroom After Leaving Legislature

Oklahomans could soon see a ballot question that, if approved, would allow former teachers to return to the classroom after leaving political office. Currently, the Oklahoma Constitution prohibits a former legislator from holding a state-paid job for two years after leaving public office. House Joint Resolution 1002, authored by Rep. John Talley, R-Stillwater, would amend the Oklahoma Constitution to exempt legislators who are returning to teach. "While this provision in the Oklahoma Constitution is well-intentioned to prevent government corruption, it also means that former teachers who served in the Legislature have to sit by for two years before they can teach again, even though Oklahoma is facing a teacher shortage," Talley said. "There's unique perspectives and experiences that come with serving as a legislator that these teachers could share with students who are our future leaders. I'm glad for the broad support of this bill and I hope to see this passed quickly so Oklahomans can make their opinion known." HJR1002 passed the House 72-11 and is authored in the Senate by Sen. Carri Hicks, D-Oklahoma City. If passed by the Senate, it would be sent to the Secretary of State to be placed on a statewide ballot.

Mar 14, 2024
Recent Posts

House Passes Bill to Update School Emergency Communication Systems

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Ross Ford, R-Broken Arrow, this week passed legislation in the House that would allow school districts to acquire communications and alarm systems that can be used between schools, counties, municipalities and law enforcement departments in the event of emergencies or school shootings.  House Bill 3860 would create the School Safety Interoperability Fund that would be administered by the Department of Public Safety. "This would allow school districts to purchase radio and camera systems that can interact with local law enforcement departments and others to help them respond quickly should an emergency arise," Ford said. "When these systems are in place, an officer can literally flip a switch and render instructions and assistance while en route to the school." Ford, a former police officer and director of school security, said the systems could save lives when minutes count. Ford also passed several additional measures in the House this week.  House Bill 3858 would modify the Oklahoma Police Pension and Retirement system, keeping the state in line with IRS requirements on the required minimum distribution age, and raising the penalties from 1.5% to 5% for late contributions to the system. House Bill 3862 would limit claw-backs by insurance companies when pre-authorization for medical procedures or services has been granted. Non-compliance with specified deadlines would result in health care services being deemed authorized. The measures now move to the Senate for consideration. 

Mar 8, 2024
Recent Posts

McBride Passes Teacher Signing Bonus Fix

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Mark McBride, R-Moore, this week passed a bill in the Oklahoma House of Representatives that he said would fix the State Department of Education's flawed signing bonus for teachers returning to Oklahoma public school classrooms. House Bill 4017 directs the Oklahoma State Board of Education to establish a $7,000 annual signing bonus program for teachers who return to teaching in state public schools beginning with the 2024-25 school year and who agree to serve for five years. The signing bonus shall be paid in five equal annual installments not to exceed $35,000 per participant. "The State Department of Education did wonderful work in recruiting more than 500 teachers to return to Oklahoma public school classrooms," McBride said. "But this legislation puts some safeguards in place to address some issues with the way the former bonus was crafted. This will protect these teachers going forward so they can still be rewarded for choosing to help our kids but without the fear that their bonus could be clawed back." McBride said the legislation was needed after reports surfaced earlier this year of teachers being asked to repay up to $50,000 in new teacher signing bonuses after the State Department of Education acknowledged the teachers were not eligible to receive the award in the first place. McBride, who chairs the House Appropriations & Budget Subcommittee for Education, said he worked with Rep. Rhonda Baker, chair of the House Common Education Committee to develop the legislation. HB4017 would require participating teachers to have at least three years of prior teaching experience and a valid or expired teaching certificate but they cannot have been employed by an Oklahoma public school in the past five years. They also must agree to teach fulltime for a minimum of five years and meet additional requirements set by the board. Verification of eligibility is required each year. The bonus does not count towards salary calculations or retirement benefits. The legislation directs the payment to be made to the teacher by Sept. 1 each year. HB4017 passed the House on a vote of 79-16. It moves the Senate where it is authored by Sen. Adam Pugh, R-Edmond, who chairs the Senate Education Committee. 

Committee Members



Rhonda Baker


District 60

Vice Chair

Mark Vancuren


District 74

Chad Caldwell


District 40

Ronny Johns


District 25

Dick Lowe


District 56

Mark McBride


District 53

Melissa Provenzano


District 79

Jacob Rosecrants


District 46

Danny Sterling


District 27

Mark Tedford


District 69

Tammy West


District 84

House Staff Assigned

Cole Stout

Senior Fiscal Policy Analyst

Erin Kennedy

Senior Staff Attorney

Marshall Jones

Staff Attorney II

Emily Byrne

Policy Analyst