2018 Oklahoma Statutes
Title 70. Schools
§70-3-129.11. School District Empowerment Program.

A. There is hereby established the School District Empowerment Program which shall be administered by the State Board of Education. The purpose of the program is to empower locally elected school board members to govern school districts and make decisions based on the needs of their students and circumstances.

B. 1. Subject to the provisions of this section, a school district shall be allowed to submit a request to the State Board of Education for an exemption from all statutory requirements and State Board of Education rules from which charter schools are exempt, as provided for in the Oklahoma Charter Schools Act. Any request for exemption shall include a plan which outlines the goals sought to be achieved at a minimum, include the educational and fiscal benefits and the anticipated impacts or outcomes the plan will have in the district.

2. Within ninety (90) days after receiving the request and plan, the State Board shall approve or disapprove the request. If the State Board does not approve the request, it shall provide to the school district a written explanation of the basis for its decision. The school district may resubmit an amended request at any time after the denial. The request shall be approved by the State Board before implementation by the school district. An approved request and plan shall be for no longer than three (3) years. Prior to the beginning of the third year, the school district may apply for renewal of the approved request and plan. The school district shall be required to submit an annual report and the State Board shall annually assess the academic achievement and fiscal status of the school district.

C. Nothing in this section shall prevent a school district board of education from choosing to follow any or all state laws, rules or regulations from which a charter school is exempt. A school district which has been granted approval by the State Board for exemption as set forth in subsection B of this section shall have the option to adopt policies to implement any requirement for the school district that is consistent with any statutory requirement or mandate or State Board rule, but a participating school shall comply with the following requirements:

1. Students who reside in the school district shall be entitled to attend school in the district as set forth in Section 1-114 of this title;

2. School districts shall comply with the requirements of the minimum salary schedule for teachers as set forth in Section 18-114.12 of this title;

3. Employees of school districts shall continue to participate as members of the Teachers' Retirement System of Oklahoma as set forth in Section 17-101 et seq. of this title;

4. School districts shall comply with the requirement to provide a health insurance plan for school district employees as set forth in Section 5-117.5 of this title and to establish or make available to school district employees a cafeteria plan as set forth in Section 26-104 of this title;

5. School districts shall require any person employed by the school district to file with the district board a current Oklahoma criminal history record check from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation as well as a national criminal history record check as defined in Section 150.9 of Title 74 of the Oklahoma Statutes. Each district shall adopt a policy regarding criminal history record checks as set forth in Section 5-142 of this title;

6. School districts shall comply with the requirement to evaluate teachers and to train personnel designated to conduct personnel evaluations as set forth in Sections 6-101.10 and 6-101.11 of this title, the dismissal and due process procedures for administrators as set forth in Sections 6-101.13 through 6-101.15 of this title and the due process procedures for teachers as set forth in Sections 6-101.21 through 6-101.26 of this title;

7. School districts shall comply with the requirement to make payroll deductions for either or both professional organization dues and political contributions upon the request of an employee as set forth in Section 5-139 of this title;

8. School districts shall comply with the dismissal and due process procedures for education support employees as set forth in Sections 6-101.40 through 6-101.47 of this title;

9. School districts shall employ as teachers, counselors, librarians, school nurses, superintendents, principals, supervisors or any other instructional, supervisory or administrative employee only those persons who are certified by the State Board of Education in accordance with the Oklahoma Teacher Preparation Act, except for persons exempt from the certification requirements as otherwise provided by law;

10. School districts shall provide for negotiations between school employees and school districts as set forth in Sections 509.1 through 509.11 of this title;

11. School districts shall be required to offer and students enrolled in the school district shall be required to complete the curriculum requirements as set forth in Section 11-103.6 of this title;

12. Students enrolled in the school district shall be required to demonstrate mastery of the state academic content standards as set forth in Section 1210.523 of this title; and

13. Members of the school district board of education shall be required to satisfy the instruction and continuing education requirements as set forth in Sections 5-110, 5-110.1 and 5-110.2 of this title.

Added by Laws 2013, c. 312, § 1. Amended by Laws 2014, c. 124, § 3, eff. July 1, 2014.

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