Gov. Kevin Stitt stated “it is time to rethink schooling in Oklahoma” throughout his second inaugural handle Monday.
In entrance of the Capitol, Stitt was sworn in for his second time period as governor. He stated in his speech that he needs the Sooner State to be prime ten “in every little thing we do,” together with schooling.
“To the scholars, and to your dad and mom, I need you to listen to it straight from me: I don’t settle for that Oklahoma’s schooling system is ranked close to the underside,” Stitt stated. “I’ll combat each day for you as a result of I do know Texans aren’t smarter than Oklahomans. Neither are the folks in Florida, Tennessee, Arizona, or Michigan.”
Stitt’s speech got here after the Nationwide Evaluation of Academic Progress stated in a current report that Oklahoma ranks final in math and studying nationwide.
Oklahoma has a median math rating of 264 (out of 500) for eighth-graders, which is 9 factors beneath the nationwide common. In terms of fourth-grade math, the Sooner State has a median rating of 229, six factors beneath the nationwide common.
Oklahoma additionally trails most different states in eighth-grade studying, with a median pupil rating of 251. The rating is eight factors beneath the nationwide common. Fourth-grade studying in Oklahoma fares no higher, with a median rating of 208, in comparison with the nationwide common of 216.
Stitt stated throughout his inaugural handle that enhancing schooling means having extra colleges than “giving college students extra entry to studying strategies that match their distinctive wants.”
“Now we have examples of this rising throughout our state, such because the Aviation Academy in Norman, which is getting ready at present’s youth to develop into airline pilots and mechanics,” Stitt instructed the viewers.
In his speech, Stitt additionally spoke about academic freedom. He talked about a regulation that went into impact Jan. 1, 2022, that permits college students to switch to any district within the state, irrespective of the place they reside.
“As a result of we consider that each baby deserves the very best schooling doable, no matter their financial state of affairs or zip code,” Stitt stated. Only one 12 months after we handed the open switch regulation, 1000’s of scholars are taking benefit and may now select to attend a college that most closely fits their wants, like Charles Web page Excessive College in Sand Springs, which creates a plan of customized studying for every one among them. college students”.
Stitt additionally addressed different education-related initiatives throughout his first time period, reminiscent of a trainer pay elevate that was a part of the state price range for fiscal 12 months 2020. The price range bundle included $58.9 million to extend trainer pay by a median of $1,220.
“Now we have a duty to do no matter it takes to provide our youngsters, not simply the subsequent technology however the kids of at present, proper right here in entrance of us, entry to the highest ten academic choices,” Stitt stated.
Shawn Hime, the chief director of the Oklahoma State College Boards Affiliation, watched Stitts’ speech.
“General, I am excited to work with the Legislature and the Government Department to enhance schooling, methods to provide our college districts extra flexibility and freedom to innovate,” Hime stated.
Hime additionally hopes to deal with the trainer scarcity within the coming years with incentives just like the state’s present scholarship program.
“The place if a pupil goes from highschool to school and goes into schooling. And as soon as they graduate, they work in Oklahoma colleges, there’s $25,500 between the scholarship and stipends after they enter the workforce,” Hime stated.
Click on right here to learn Stitt’s full graduation handle.