Oklahoma House of Representatives opts not to vote on proposed education rules, sends rules to governor for approval

The Oklahoma House of Representatives opted not to vote on a set of education rules before the end of the 2024 legislative session, sending the rules to Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) for approval. The rules previously passed the House Administrative Rules Committee 7-3 on May 14.

Superintendent of Education Ryan Walters (R) proposed a set of 20 education rules that would:

  • tie test scores to accreditation status; 
  • require public schools to develop voluntary prayer policies; 
  • ban spending on diversity, equity, and inclusion programs; 
  • and more. 

Oklahoma state law authorizes the legislature to approve administrative rules promulgated by state agencies before they take effect. The legislature has the authority to approve, reject, or send the rules directly to the governor for approval. After the education rules passed the House Administrative Rules Committee, the Oklahoma House of Representatives sent the rules to the governor for approval instead of voting. 

State Representative Charles McCall (R) said the Republican majority in the state House of Representatives decided internally not to vote on the rules after they passed out of committee. He said, “[W]ith respect to the rules for the state Department of Education, those will go into effect as the (Oklahoma State Board of Education) passed them,” according to The Duncan Banner

State Representative Melissa Provenzano (D) argued against the decision not to vote on the bills. Provenzano said, “This shirks the responsibility of the Oklahoma Legislature,” according to The Duncan Banner

The governor had yet to approve or reject the rules as of June 20, 2024. 

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