New joint administrative rules committee gets off to a slow start, discusses HB 1775

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Megan Prather NoDoc.com

The Senate half of the Oklahoma Legislature’s new joint committee on administrative rules held its first meeting Wednesday afternoon, with members debating the definition of the word “course” while discussing the rules proposed by the Department of State of education regarding HB 1775.

Lawmakers passed HB 1775 last year to prohibit Oklahoma public school teachers from teaching that “every individual, because of race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, consciously or unknowingly “, that “every individual should feel bad feelings, guilt, anguish or any other form of psychological distress because of their race or sex” or that “meritocracy or traits such as a work ethic hardline are racist or sexist or were created by members of a particular race to oppress members of another race.

Senator David Bullard (R-Durant) is the author of the bill and said its aim was to prevent the teaching of critical race theory, even if the college-level concept is not named specifically in measurement. The bill required the OSDE to promulgate rules for reporting and responding to potential violations of the new law.

“The emergency rules have come into force in the meantime. They have been widely accepted but lack a lot of detail in implementation, so schools have enough detail to achieve the expectations of this legislation,” Bullard told Senate JCAR members. “I dissent on definitions where he defines a ‘course’.”

Bullard said “academic or non-academic programs and extracurricular activities” were included in the bill and that the OSDE’s definition of “courses” could leave the door open for school districts to violate the law.

The Senate committee ultimately voted to postpone a vote on the administrative rules for HB 1775, as well as the rules submitted by the Department of Commerce regarding the Filmed in Oklahoma Act program, until next week’s meeting.

JCAR Senate Vice President Julie Daniels (R-Bartlesville) said after the meeting that she wanted the committee to think about the rules of HB 1775 for a week and would recommend whether to approve or disapprove the rules. rules at the next meeting.

“The way I feel today, I’m going to recommend that we endorse them,” Daniels said. “As I discussed with the author of the Senate, maybe he needs to go back and rework some of the language of the bill. We have agencies that refuse to enact rules after passing legislation This agency did what it was supposed to do, for me, even though I wanted more in the rules, they did their due diligence, and out of respect for that, I think we should endorse them.

Senate Minority Leader Kay Floyd (D-OKC) asked Bullard about his definition of “course,” pointing out that a definition was not included in HB 1775. The question was whether the proposed rules should apply to coaches and other instructors of extracurricular activities.

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