Representative Mark McBride

Hi, I'm Mark McBride and I represent the people of Oklahoma's 53rd District.


representative

Leadership

Assistant Majority Floor Leader

59th Legislature

News & Announcements


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



Dec 8, 2023
Recent Posts

McBride Responds to Lack of OSDE Transparency and Cooperation

OKLAHOMA CITY – Rep. Mark McBride, R-Moore, today released a statement in response to a lack of transparency and cooperation on the part of State Superintendent of Public Instruction Ryan Walters and Sr. Advisor Matt Langston. This statement comes on the heels of numerous requests for information from members of the Legislature being ignored by the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE), with the latest request receiving a response from Langston of, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." McBride said the following: "Throughout the last two years, my colleagues and I have tried to find numerous ways to work with OSDE leadership as we chart a path forward for education in our state. Our efforts have been met with standoffishness, immaturity and a total lack of transparency and accountability on the part of Superintendent Walters and his advisor Matt Langston. The latest retort received from Langston was in response to a third inquiry asking for information about alleged teacher recruitment numbers, a Metrics Software update and emails sent to Superintendent Walters' Every Kid Counts email address. Rather than provide this information, Langston responded with sarcasm and disrespect towards the Legislature. It is important for OSDE leadership to remember that the Legislature, not the Department, is in charge of appropriating and overseeing state tax dollars. This responsibility comes with a duty to make sure that the appropriated dollars are being spent properly by the agencies and departments under the Legislature's purview. The Legislature cannot tell if anything we are hearing from OSDE about where and how dollars are being spent is true, because Superintendent Walters and Sr. Advisor Langston refuse to answer the most basic inquiries. The only logical conclusions that can be drawn from their lack of cooperation are that they are either lying about where the money is going, or they are hiding something. Based on the way that Superintendent Walters and his advisor have acted towards legislative inquiries into OSDE spending, we have no way to determine if state taxpayer dollars are being spent properly by the Department. Rather than responding with childish wordplay, it is my sincere hope that they will begin to work with the Legislature to make sure we are all doing right by the children and families of Oklahoma. At the end of the day, this needs to be about the kids, not ego." -END-



Nov 13, 2023
Recent Posts

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.