OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A bill that would make it easier for school
districts to fire teachers has cleared a Senate committee.
The Senate Education Committee voted Monday to eliminate a
process known as trial de novo that allows fired teachers to go
before a state judge who determines if a school board followed
proper procedures during the dismissal. Proponents of the
Republican-backed bill maintain it will save districts tens of
thousands of dollars in court costs.
Democrats maintain the plan is an "assault on public
education" in Oklahoma.
The committee also approved a bill to transfer power from the
state Board of Education to the state superintendent. That measure
was introduced after a highly publicized dispute between the new
Republican superintendent and a board composed of appointees of
former Democratic Gov. Brad Henry.