Representative Rhonda Baker

Hi, I'm Rhonda Baker and I represent the people of Oklahoma's 60th District.


News & Announcements

Mar 28, 2024
Recent Posts

Rep. Rhonda Baker will not Seek Reelection in 2024

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Rhonda Baker, R-Yukon, announced today that she will not seek reelection to the Oklahoma House of Representatives this year. "It has been an extraordinary honor to serve the people of House District 60 for the past eight years," Baker said. "I have been blessed to work with some of the most dedicated and talented leaders in the communities in my district and across Oklahoma. I have seen firsthand the challenges facing our state, and yet I remain optimistic that determined and capable Oklahomans will take the opportunities afforded them to make our state the best it can be." Baker – a former classroom teacher with nearly two decades of experience at all levels of education, from middle to high school and collegiate work – quickly rose to leadership positions once elected to the Oklahoma House of Representatives. As a freshman lawmaker, in 2016, she was appointed to serve as chair of the House Education Committee and as a member of the House Appropriations & Budget Subcommittee for Education, positions she still holds. She also served as a member of the House Higher Education and CareerTech Committee. In 2023, Baker received the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Distinguished Service Award for her work on the Concurrent Education Task Force. "Since coming from the classroom to the Capitol, I've worked tirelessly to advocate for students and champion our state's educators," Baker said. "During my tenure, I've worked to pass legislation focused on improving student outcomes so our youth are ready for the next level of coursework and for lives beyond school. I've pushed for measures that ensure students are prepared for the demands of the workforce so they excel and earn to their highest potential. This not only benefits our youth but propels our entire state forward." Baker also has worked to improve the school environment for educators and to give parents more choices for their children's education. "One of my proudest legislative accomplishments was to negotiate the largest increase in educational funding, including teacher pay increases, while also advocating for more school choice than at any time in Oklahoma's history," Baker said. In addition to being recognized as a dynamic state leader, Baker has received national attention for her work on education policy. She serves as Chairwoman of the Education Committee of the Southern Legislative Conference and vice chair of the Southern Regional Education Board's Advisory Council. Baker's legislative colleagues across the region have sought her expertise and training as they develop educational goals for improving student achievement, teacher recruitment, and parental choice.  She said her passion and work in education will not end when she completes her legislative work later this year. "I recognize there is still much to be done, and I promise to continue advancing the cause of public education throughout my life," she said. Baker's work extends into other policy areas as well. She is a member of the House speaker's leadership team and serves as an assistant floor leader. She is a member of the full House Appropriations and Budget Committee and the Energy Committee and has served on the Children, Youth and Family Services, and Business and Commerce committees. Early in her legislative career, Baker received the Rising Star Award from the State Chamber for her role as a legislative leader in the business community. In 2023, Baker was appointed as a fellow for the Hunt-Kean Leadership Institute, an intense leadership training program for government and business leaders nationwide.  She was one of 11 select legislators chosen within the southern region to attend the Center for the Advancement of Leadership Skills. She was one of two legislators chosen as an Early Learning Fellows from the National Conference of State Legislators. She also serves as a commissioner on the Commission of the Status of Women. Baker said as she leaves the Legislature she remains appreciative to God for the grace and ability He's given her to serve in public office, and to her family and supporters for their love and sacrifice on her behalf.

Jan 26, 2024
Recent Posts

McBride, Baker Comment on Teacher Bonus Clawbacks

OKLAHOMA CITY – Reps. Mark McBride, R-Moore, and Rhonda Baker, R-Yukon, today commented on reports of teachers being asked to repay a $50,000 new teacher signing bonus to the State Department of Education. It's been reported that nine teachers have been asked to repay the portion of bonus money they received after the department said they discovered the teachers were not eligible to receive the award. "As a businessman, if I make a mistake, I have to own that," McBride said. "I can't go back to my customer and say you have to repay me because I made a mistake in our contract. The same should happen with the State Department of Education. If they made a mistake in approving an application, they shouldn't demand the teacher pay for it." McBride, who serves as the chair of the House Appropriations & Budget Subcommittee for Education, said he's talked to State Supt. of Public Instruction Ryan Walters and others at the Oklahoma State Department of Education about the implementation of the bonus program. He said he expressed his concerns about how the bonus would be paid up front and how he would like to see better parameters and controls put in place before the money was distributed.  He said he would have rather seen the program set up similar to his Inspired to Teach bonus, which is paid out after prospective teachers complete educational requirements and as they perform their service in state public schools. Baker, who serves as the chair of the House Common Education Committee, also spoke on the matter. "As a former teacher, I cannot imagine the anxiety something like this would induce – to be deemed eligible and to receive a large bonus in my bank account, only to be told months later I must return it. It was up to the State Department of Education to provide proper oversight in the vetting and approval of the bonus recipients. With this much money at stake, the SDE must reconsider the internal process to find an acceptable solution to make this an attractive teacher recruitment tool. I implore the department to find a better solution for the teachers that received the bonus in error." McBride also questioned why the same standard wasn't applied for the department's reported misuse of federal Governor’s Emergency Educational Relief (GEER) funds. In 2020, the funding was given to help low-income families purchase education materials while school buildings were closed due to high COVID-19 cases. A U.S. Department of Education audit accused the state of failing to follow federal regulations, and noted that Supt. Walters approved the purchases. The state's attorney general also has said he feels state actors were to blame for the misspending. "We haven't asked the department to repay those funds," McBride said. Both McBride and Baker said they will pursue legislative solutions on the bonus program in the upcoming session of the Legislature, which convenes Feb. 5.   -END-   Mark McBride serves District 53 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. His district includes part of Cleveland County. Baker serves House District 60, which includes part of Canadian County

Nov 13, 2023
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Oklahoma Educators Hall of Fame Inductees Recognized

OKLAHOMA CITY – Reps. Rhonda Baker, R-Yukon, and Mark McBride, R-Moore, on behalf of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, recently issued legislative citations to the two 2023 Oklahoma Educators Hall of Fame inductees. Ray Henson and Joyce Henderson were inducted into the Oklahoma Educators Hall of Fame on Nov. 10. "These two long-time, faithful Oklahoma educators deserve our thanks for their service to the students, parents and fellow educators of our great state," Baker and McBride said in a joint statement. "Their work is well-deserving of being memorialized in the Hall of Fame, and we're so glad to pay a part in their recognition." Henson worked in Oklahoma public schools for 53 years, starting his education career as a science teacher in Kinta. He later became a basketball coach and high school principal in Glenpool. In 1971, he became superintendent at Talihina Public Schools, where for 35 years he sought educational innovations that led to dramatic increases in student learning opportunities and achievements. He garnered support that led to upgraded district facilities, which now bear his name. Henson's career accomplishments include induction into the Eastern Oklahoma State College Alumni Hall of Fame in 2004 and receiving the University of Oklahoma Career Educator Award in 2004. He also served as president of the National Board of the North Central Association, the Talihina Chamber of Commerce, Talihina Lions Club, Talihina Housing Authority, and served on the boards of the Organization of Rural Oklahoma Schools, National Indian Impact Aid Association, and the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activity Association. Henson also led and served on councils related to adult education and bilingual education with special attention to Native American students. Henderson has served Oklahoma public schools for nearly 40 years as a teacher and administrator, including as principal at various schools in the Oklahoma City Public Schools District. The schools include Dunjee High School, Emerson Alternative High School, the original Classen High School, Northeast High School and Star Spencer High School. Henderson was also one of the original administrators for the opening of Classen School of Advanced Studies. Henderson's career accomplishments include receiving the 2005 Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc. Award; the 2006 YWCA Woman Achiever of the Year Award; Central Oklahoma Chapter National Award from John F. Kennedy for the Performing Arts Administrator; Woman of the Year; Redlands Girl Scouts Organization: Wind Beneath My Wings Award; OKC Public Schools: Most Positive Principal Award; Langston University Education Hall of Fame Inductee; Most Outstanding Basileus Award of Midwestern Region, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.; Finalist for Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence Award; Oklahoma Medal for Excellence in Administration; state winner, Oklahoma Alliance for Arts Education Award; By-liner Award, OKC Professional Chapter, Women in Communications, Inc.; Outstanding Leadership Certificate, NTU Arts Association; Finer Womanhood Award, local chapter, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. Citations for Henson and Henderson note that the two are recognized with the highest degree of respect and honor by all citizens of the great state of Oklahoma for their phenomenal teaching skills, contributions, and achievements. The Oklahoma Educators Hall of Fame annually inducts teachers from across Oklahoma recognizing them for their integrity, leadership, accomplishments, and exemplary moral character.