Representative Meloyde Blancett

News & Announcements

Sep 29, 2023
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Johns, Waldron, Blancett to Study A-F Report Cards in Public Schools

A bipartisan interim study to examine the value of A-F report cards when rating the quality of public schools across the state has been scheduled for Monday, October 2. The meeting is a joint study by Reps. Ronny Johns, R-Ada, John Waldron, D-Tulsa, and Meloyde Blancett, D-Tulsa, and will overview the A-F report card program. Presenters will discuss how absenteeism affects the schools' grades, the pros and cons of the bell curve system, the current systems used for Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) compliance and school evaluation, and explore alternatives to existing methodologies. "I believe the A-F report card is a useful tool that gives a good overall picture of what's going on in our schools and the great job our educators are doing," said Johns, a former middle school principal. "One area of particular concern is the bell curve system we currently have in place, which severely limits schools' ability to improve their grade score even if they show vast improvement. I hope this study provides valuable information that we can use to begin considering what system best serves students, parents and teachers." Speakers include Michael Tamborski, Program Manager over Data Quality and Research in the State Dept. of Education Office of Accountability, who will provide an overview of the A-F report cards; Dr. Jeanene Barnett, Education Policy and Research Analyst, Cooperative Council for Oklahoma School Administration (CCOSA), who will detail what other states have done as alternatives to the A-F report card system; and Sandra Valentine, formerly with APlus, who will explain the A-F report card scoring process. “The study seeks to update and improve our system of school assessment by looking at alternative models that can add value to our understanding of school performance, and point the way to improving student learning,” said Waldron, a former public school teacher. Also speaking to the committee will be Bixby Public Schools Superintendent Rob Miller, Stillwater Public Schools Superintendent Uwe Gordon, and Stillwater Public Schools Board Member Marshall Baker. The study, which is open to the public, is scheduled for Monday, October 2 at 1 p.m. in Room 206 at the Oklahoma State Capitol. The meeting will be held before the House Common Education Committee and will be live-streamed at .

Aug 29, 2023
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House Democrats Call on Speaker of the House to Form Special Bipartisan Committee to Investigate State Superintendent

OKLAHOMA CITY – Today, House Democrats called on the Speaker of the House to form a special bipartisan committee to investigate possible impeachment charges for State Superintendent of Public Instruction Ryan Walters amid recent bomb threats at Tulsa area elementary schools believed to be linked to Walters' rhetoric about Tulsa Public Schools. “Oklahomans deserve a public school system where parents, students and teachers feel safe to go to school and the needs of our students are prioritized over dangerous political rhetoric,” said House Democratic Caucus Chair Trish Ranson, D-Stillwater. House Democratic Leader Cyndi Munson, D-Oklahoma City said the special bipartisan committee would investigate the current state superintendent to determine if his actions rise to the level of impeachment. “Allocating funds for public education should be free of corruption or political gain. There is already evidence of Walters’ corruption through misspent federal dollars along with discrepancies in his campaign finances. Paired with his toxic rhetoric that is impacting the safety of our schools, we believe it is more than enough to, at the very least, investigate him,” Leader Munson said. Rep. Provenzano mentioned that the rhetoric from the state superintendent has been harmful and potentially compromised the safety of school children. She also believes he is willfully neglecting his duty of office. “The rhetoric from the state superintendent has, up until now, been designed to distract and ?sow chaos. But now, elementary schools in the Tulsa area have received bomb threats as a ?result of disinformation shared by him. Our children deserve to be safe. The willful neglect of ?that duty, even in the highest offices in our state, cannot and will not be ?overlooked. Enough is enough,” Rep. Provenzano added. Leader Munson said, "We share in the growing frustration of Oklahomans across our state who want action to address their deep concerns for the future of public education. It is now time for action." -END-

Mar 14, 2023
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Blancett's Bill Addresses Critical Shortage of Public School Nurses, Counselors Through New State Department of Education and Health Grant Program

OKLAHOMA CITY –Oklahoma's critical shortage of school-based professionals who specialize in student health, counseling and mental health will be aided with a bill passed off the House floor today, authored by Rep. Meloyde Blancett, D-Tulsa.  "We not only have a critical shortage of school counselors and mental health professionals to help public school students today, but we also have a shortage of school nurses in our education system," said Blancett. "Students need help and teachers can't be the only professionals that are student facing; they have enough on their plates."   The bill, HB 2827, sets up a matching grant program, administered by the State Department of Education, which would utilize state appropriated dollars to help public schools hire and retain these professionals. Assistance would be provided by the Oklahoma Department of Health to districts to obtain matching federal funds through Medicaid, which supports these types of staffing efforts.    Currently, there are fewer than 400 certified school nurses to cover more than 750,000 students in public schools, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Education, which drastically limits the ability to test students for auditory disorders, among other health challenges. While today's ratio of school counselors to students is "somewhat better" Blancett said also giving districts the ability to contract with mental health professionals can assist teachers in helping their students succeed in learning.   “The physical and mental health of our students is a top public priority. This bill will help make sure counselors and nurses are available in every school to meet the needs of students which just strengthens our workforce pipeline,” Rep. Blancett said.  The grants are contingent upon the availability of funds. The measure now moves to the Senate for consideration. HB 2827 is co-authored by long-time public education advocate Sen. Dewayne Pemberton, as well as Reps. Mark McBride, Arturo Alonso-Sandoval and John Waldron.  -END-