Baker, McBride, Moore Rebuke Statements by State Supt.

Feb 23, 2023
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OKLAHOMA CITY – State Reps. Rhonda Baker, R-Yukon, Mark McBride, R-Moore, and Anthony Moore, R-Clinton, today issued the following statement after State Superintendent of Public Instruction Ryan Walters made comments in a State Board of Education meeting that were disparaging toward the state's higher education system.

The lawmakers, who watched today's meeting, reported Walters said he would continue to monitor higher education and is concerned about young people entering higher education.

"It is clear the State Board of Education has no purview over Oklahoma's system of universities and colleges, which are maintained by The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, a constitutional board. Even in his capacity as the governor's appointed secretary of education, Walters has no true authority over the state's system of higher learning.

"Data shows a college degree or Career Tech certification leads to better job opportunities and better salaries for young people. At a time when building our workforce is more critical than ever in our state, the superintendent should refrain from discouraging any student from pursuing higher learning."

"We implore the state superintendent to focus on the job he was elected to do, which includes supporting increased outcomes for the children and the educators in our preK-12 classrooms."

Baker serves as chair of the House Common Education Committee, McBride chairs the House Appropriations & Budget Subcommittee for Education, and Moore chairs the House Higher Education and Career Tech Committee.

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