Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Government News

May 13, 2011

Bill to Improve Kindergarten Preparedness

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma — State Rep. Dennis Johnson said today he is hopeful Oklahoma kindergarteners will be better prepared to learn if legislation he authored passes.

House Bill 1465 would move the cutoff date for pre-K and kindergarten eligibility from Sept. 1 to July 1. Under the bill, all children who are four years old by July 1 would be eligible for pre-K classes and children who are five years old by July 1 would be eligible for kindergarten.

Children not born by July 1 could still enroll in pre-K or kindergarten with a simple screening.

“The intent of this bill is to make sure the students who are enrolling in kindergarten classes are prepared to be there,” Johnson said. “We’re seeing strong indications that growing numbers of Oklahoma kindergarteners aren’t quite ready to begin the kindergarten learning process. Waiting until these students are prepared is the best thing for the students, the teachers and the families.”

Johnson said the bill specifically targets “summer babies” born between July and September who are typically the youngest in their class and often fall behind during early education years.

“With these younger children, a couple months of development can make an enormous difference in their readiness for the rigors of schools,” Johnson said. “It is harmful to a child’s academic development if they begin their learning process behind the older children in their class, and the teachers I have heard from are seeing this every year in their classes.”

The legislation has passed the House, 78-16, and Senate, 45-0. It is awaiting action from the Senate Education Conference Committee.

“I hope the Senate conference committee will agree with the overwhelming amount of legislators who have voted for this bill. It is a reform that must be passed to help our students, teachers and families,” Johnson said.

The policies in the bill were developed in part through a House interim study on the issue last year.

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Government News
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    Members of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs, Chairman Joseph Lieberman (ID-CT), Ranking Member Susan Collins (R-ME), and Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) released the following statements today regarding the second annual Government Accountability Office (GAO) report identifying ongoing duplication and areas for costs savings throughout the federal government.

    February 28, 2012

  • Roberts Seeks Local Control on Meth Issue

    Legislation filed by state Rep. Sean Roberts would allow local communities to impose ordinances designed to reduce meth crime.

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    February 24, 2012

  • Lawmakers Focus on Meth Problem

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  • Coburn, Burr Unveil Plan to Save Medicare, the Seniors’ Choice Act

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    February 16, 2012

  • Fallin highlights more cuts to Oklahma income tax

    Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin provided more details of her plan to cut the personal income tax for all Oklahomans during her State of the State address to lawmakers on Monday, but had few specifics on how she plans to pay for the ambitious proposal.

    February 6, 2012

  • Lawmaker seeks spending limit on Okla. Legislature

    An Oklahoma lawmaker is pushing legislation that would place new constitutional limits on state spending.

    Republican state Rep. Elise Hall of Oklahoma City says that Oklahoma's public sector could grow too fast without more spending limits.

    January 27, 2012

  • 2011 Wastebook Dr. Coburn Releases New Report on Wasteful Government Spending in 2011:

    U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) today released a new oversight report, “Wastebook 2011” that highlights over $6.5 billion in examples of some of the most egregious ways your taxpayer dollars were wasted. This report details 100 of the countless unnecessary, duplicative and low-priority projects spread throughout the federal government. 

     

    December 20, 2011 1 Photo

  • House unveils DHS strategy

    House Speaker Kris Steele and a bipartisan group of five representatives today unveiled the first steps of a strategy to reform the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.

    The House’s aggressive, four-pronged strategy is designed to improve DHS through significant study of and potential reforms to governance structure, agency structure, personnel policy and resource allocation. The plan is in response to a shared desire between House members, agency officials and other stakeholders to improve delivery of services by DHS, particularly for children in state custody.

    October 19, 2011

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