Episode 034: Legislative Update 5

For this legislative update of Passing Notes, Todd Gragg and Shari Gately join me to talk all the things happening in the Oklahoma legislature. In this episode we talk about revenue, the April 1st deadline, and classroom funding.

To find our guests, you can follow them on Twitter @MrGragg and @ShariGateley.

Episode 028: Legislative Update 2

In this second episode of the Legislative Update, I wrap up some of the senate and house bills of interest that were filed by January 17th (the last day to file bills).

All I can say at this point is this is going to be a fascinating legislative session. 1st Regular Session convenes on February 4, 2019. In the past post, I listed the Senate Committee on Education, below you will see the House Committees that focus on education but pay attention to the committee that the bill of interest is assigned to. Let me know your thoughts after listening to the episode and fill out your information in the “Be a Guest” tab to join me for a chat.

Resource: If you haven’t done so already, download the app “Oklahoma’s Legislative Guide” by OAEC.

House Subcommittee for Appropriations and Budget on Education

  • Rep Mark McBride (District 53): Chair
  • Rep Toni Hasenbeck (District 65): Vice Chair
  • Rep Rhonda Baker (District 60)
  • Rep Mickey Dollens (District 93)
  • Rep Jadine Nollan (District 66)
  • Rep Ty Burns (District 35)
  • Rep Derrel Fincher (District 11)
  • Rep Jacob Rosecrants (District 46)
  • Rep Sherrie Conley (District 20)
  • Rep Andy Fugate (District 94)
  • Rep Tammy West (District 84)

House Committee on Common Education

  • Rep Rhonda Baker (District 60): Chair
  • Rep Mark Vancuren (District 74): Vice Chair
  • Rep Kelly Albright (District 95)
  • Rep Sherrie Conley (District 20)
  • Rep Melissa Provenzano (District 79)
  • Rep Jacob Rosecrants (District 46)
  • Rep John Talley (District 33)
  • Rep Carol Bush (District 70)
  • Rep Sheila Dills (District 69)
  • Rep Randly Randleman (District 15)
  • Rep Todd Russ (District 55)
  • Rep John Waldron (District 77)
  • Rep Chad Caldwell (District 40)
  • Rep Ronny Johns (District 25)
  • Rep Dustin Roberts (District 21)
  • Rep Danny Sterling (District 27)
  • Rep Tammy West (District 84)

House Committee on Children, Youth, and Family Services

  • Rep Carol Bush (District 70): Chair
  • Rep John Talley (District 33): Vice Chair
  • Rep Forrest Bennett (District 92)
  • Rep Ronny Johns (District 25)
  • Rep Nicole Miller (District 82)
  • Rep Melissa Provenzano (District 79)
  • Rep Cynthia Roe (District 42)
  • Rep Jeff Boatman (District 67)
  • Rep Dell Kerbs (District 26)
  • Rep Cyndi Munson (District 85)
  • Rep Randy Randleman (District 15)
  • Rep Derrel Fincher (District 11)
  • Rep Mark Lawson (District 30)
  • Rep Jadine Nollan (District 66)
  • Rep Trish Ranson (District 34)

House Committee on Higher Education and Career Tech

  • Rep Jadine Nollan (District 66): Chair
  • Rep Derrel Fincher (District 11): Vice Chair
  • Rep Brad Boles (District 51)
  • Rep Jon Echols (District 90)
  • Rep Dell Kerbs (District 26)
  • Rep Trish Ranson (District 34)
  • Rep Tammy West (District 84)
  • Rep Sherrie Conley (District 20)
  • Rep Regina Goodwin (District 73)
  • Rep Lundy Kiger (District 3)
  • Rep Mark Vancuren (District 74)
  • Rep Jason Dunnington (District 88)
  • Rep Kyle Hilbert (District 29)
  • Rep Ken Luttrell (District 37)
  • Rep Emily Virgin (District 44)

Episode 026: Legislative Update 1

After lots of brainstorming about how I might make the Passing Notes blog and podcast better, I decided to make a 2019 goal to provide more news and information using both platforms. Passing Notes will still include interviews with education experts published every two weeks but every other week, we will get political (but not partisan). My goal is to provide information to educators, concerned citizens, stakeholders, families about what is going on in education in Oklahoma. Some weeks we might have guests or panels but every other week we will have updates. At least through the legislative session.

Please send me your thoughts and feedback! And definitely let me know if you’d like to come on an episode and talk education politics with me. Let’s get started!

This episode is focused on the Senate Bills that have been filed for the 57th legislature. Senators can file an unlimited number of bills. The deadline to introduce a bill is January 17th, 2019.

Senate Education Committee

  • Senator Gary Stanislawski (District 35) – Chair
  • Senator Joe Newhouse (District 25) – Vice Chair
  • Senator David Bullard (District 6)
  • Senator J.J. Dossett (District 34)
  • Senator Tom Dugger (District 21)
  • Senator John Haste (District 36)
  • Senator Carri Hicks (District 40)
  • Senator Allison Ikley-Freeman (District 37)
  • Senator Chris Kidd (District 31)
  • Senator Roland Pederson (District 19)
  • Senator Dewayne Pemberton (District 9)
  • Senator Marty Quinn (District 2)
  • Senator Paul Scott (District 43)
  • Senator Wayne Shaw (District 3)
  • Senator Jason Smalley (District 28)

Episode 025: My Conversation with the Superintendent

While most of us might agree that the current climate of education politics is improving, there is still a ways to go and Superintendent Hofmeister has been leading that charge. She recently requested a budget of $3.35 billion for the 2019-2020 school year, which was the largest budget ever requested for common education, aimed on reducing classroom sizes, decreasing the student to counselor ratio statewide, increasing funds to alternative education, a focus on professional development, and more.

Superintendent Hofmeister is Oklahoma’s 14th State Superintendent. She completed her Bachelor’s of Science in Education from Texas Christian University, receiving a certificates in English and elementary education. She served as a public school teacher, then as the CEO of Kumon Math & Reading Centers of South Tulsa. She served on the Oklahoma State Board of Education from January 2012 to April 2013 before running for State Superintendent. She was sworn in on January 12, 2015. In November of 2018, Superintendent Hofmeister was re-elected to a second term and will be sworn in on January 14, 2019.

Below are the questions I prepared to ask Superintendent Hofmeister:

  1. Introduce yourself
  2. Describe your background in education.
  3. What motivated/encouraged you to run for public office?
  4. Describe what your typical day looks like as Superintendent.
  5. What has surprised you about the position of Superintendent?
  6. What of your first term accomplishments are you most proud of?
  7. What do you hope to accomplish moving forward into your next term? What do you hope to accomplish for teachers? Students?
  8. What do you hope to accomplish in regards to the budget?
  9. Over the years education has had to cut a number of programs (Oklahoma Parents as Teachers, teacher mentorship programs), are there any past programs that you are hoping to bring back?
  10. With a new freshman class of legislatures, what are your plans to educate them on public schools and higher education?
  11. What goals do you have surrounding decreasing the teacher shortage in Oklahoma? How will Oklahoma compete with surrounding states that are willing to pay teachers more?
  12. You have brought in a focus on trauma in our state, how do you hope to prepare educators and schools to mitigate the impact of trauma on students?
  13. The State Department of Education has received a large number of grants in the last year, how do you think this change education in our state?
  14. What do you hope education in Oklahoma looks like in the next four years? Ten years?
  15. What is favorite part of being the State Superintendent of Oklahoma?

Episode 020: The Election Episode

Elections are upon us! Early Voting begins today (11/1/18) and lasts through Saturday (11/3/18) and the official Election Day is November 6th! If you are interested in voting early – this link will take you to the information you need. Voting is an important right and I hope that all of you exercise that right on Tuesday. If your are looking for resources, check out last weeks blog post and podcast with Shari Gateley about Everyday Advocacy.

For this episode I interviewed Representative Jason Dunnington. Jason represents House District 88 in the state of Oklahoma and is soon to enter into his third term. Since his first election he has been a proeducation advocate. Throughout our conversation we discussed the upcoming election and the future legislative session including how educators can continue to engage in the process! You can find Representative Dunnington on Twitter @jdunnington or on Facebook.

Below are the questions I prepared to ask Representative Dunnington (there were some follow up questions in the podcast that are not included below):

  1. Introduce yourself
  2. Why is this election important for our state?
  3. How can educators… educate themselves on the upcoming elections?
  4. In what ways can educators support pro-education candidates in these final days?
  5. What should educators do going forward (reference 1990 walk out and subsequent election) to ensure that we are not in the same place 10 … 20 years from now?
  6. In what ways should educators engage their legislators going forward?
  7. What are the best ways to stay informed? (some bills/info coming out of 23rd and Lincoln can be complicated and convoluted)
  8. What is your charge to legislators, where do we go next to continue (re)building our state?
  9. How do we as a state move forward after the elections? What keeps you hopeful that we will have a vision for our state’s future?
  10. What is your vision for the remainder of your time as a legislator?
  11. What are you excited about going into the next legislative session? What are you hoping will be discussed/passed?
  12. Which elections are you looking forward to watching?
  13. What are your go-to resources for information about elections?

This episode was recorded at Design Tunnel in downtown OKC!

Episode 004: Interview with Jamie Gibbons

The Teacher Walkout! April 2, 2018 has come and gone and educators across the state of Oklahoma are in Day 5 of the teacher walkout. So much has happened and while I wasn’t planning on releasing an episode of Passing Notes this week, I felt like I needed to. So, I sat down and interviewed Jamie Gibbons, an OKCPS teacher about her reflections on what has happened and the work that still needs to be done.

Share your thoughts and reflections from this week in the comments section.