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

Mar 14, 2024
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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.

Oklahoma House of Representatives seal