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Oklahoma bill would allow open transfer for students throughout state

Published: Apr. 16, 2021 at 10:53 PM CDT
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OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KXII) - Right now, transfers have to be approved by local school boards, but in January those boards won’t be able to say “no”.

As long as the school districts have the capacity, the students would be allowed to transfer in as long as they don’t have discipline or attendance issues.

Speaker of the House, Charles McCall of Atoka, who’s name is on this bill said he believes that this bill will work for anybody in any situation no matter if they live in a rural area or in the metropolitan area of the state.

“It’s been a long time coming but we decided the open transfer really was the most equitable policy approach of all parts of Oklahoma,” McCall said.

Senate Bill 7-8-3 would allow for students to transfer anywhere in the state if the school district has the capacity for it.

Students would be able to transfer twice per school year if doing so.

Superintendent for Ada city schools, Mike Anderson said that there were over 25,000 transfers in the state of Oklahoma last year and there was no need for this bill.

“Well in my opinion the transfer bill probably was not necessary, I’ve heard it described as a solution to a problem that didn’t really exist,” Anderson said.

In Oklahoma, school districts are funded by the number of students they have and how often they attend class.

Anderson is concerned about how the funding would go with students entering and leaving school districts.

“We just have to be real careful because of the financial climate that we are in that we don’t have to hire a whole lot of teachers if we were to see a whole lot of transfers coming our way,” Anderson said.

Students of an active military parent will be able to transfer no matter the capacity size.

Gayla Hamersley’s 8th grader goes to Duncan Public Schools in Stephens County, a district they are happy to be in after a long wait for a transfer under the old system.

She wishes this law came out sooner.

“She’s currently happy where she’s at, it did take about a year to get through with her depressive state of not being able to go to for four years,” Hamersley’s said.

Once capacity is hit students who are at the top of the waiting list, that got their application in first, will be moved into the school district once a spot has opened up.

Superintendents have to report to the state the first of January, April, July and October to report their capacity numbers.

It’s up to the parents of the transfer students to drop them off at school or at the nearest bus stop for transportation.

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