Baker to Chair Southern Legislative Conference Education Committee
OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Rhonda Baker, R-Yukon, this week was elected chair of the Education Committee of the Southern Legislative Conference (SLC). She has served as vice chair of the regional committee since 2021.
Baker, a former teacher, chairs the House Common Education Committee.
"This nomination by my regional peers is not only a personal honor, but this speaks to advancements in education policy the Oklahoma Legislature has accomplished that are being recognized at a national level and applauded by our southern partners," Baker said.
The mission of the SLC is to promote and strengthen intergovernmental cooperation among its 15 member states. As chair of the Education Committee, which comprises members from each of the 15 states, Baker will guide the committee’s policy focus and projects.
Recent policy issues addressed by the committee include parental rights in education, improvement of literacy and mathematics achievement, graduation pathways and requirements, and the importance of strong school leadership and discipline within schools.
Baker said in her new role she will highlight work by the Oklahoma Legislature that has increased overall education funding and teacher pay to historic levels as well as a continued focus on improving student outcomes and workforce readiness. She pointed to legislation passed this year that will increase literacy instruction in public schools, revisions to teacher/leader effectiveness measures, improvements to school security, additional scholarship funds for those pursuing a teaching degree to help ensure all classrooms have a highly qualified teacher, and more. This builds on legislation passed in prior years that improves a teacher's ability to achieve micro-credentials in key subject areas and incentives for those pursuing degrees in critical fields such as nursing, engineering and teaching.