Schools to receive supplemental funding

By State Rep. Mike Sanders

Legislative leaders have agreed to an additional $14.8 million in supplemental funding that will cover bonuses for National Board-certified teachers. Our educators that have put forth the extra effort to earn this certification deserve the bonuses that were promised to them. Additionally, this supplemental funding will provide teachers and support staff with $37.6 million in much needed insurance benefits.

Senate Bill 1959, which outlines this supplemental funding, has been approved by both the Senate and the House and now awaits the governor’s signature. This legislation also includes $5 million for the Department of Public Safety’s Trooper Academy, $1 million for the state medical examiner’s office and $34.1 million for the State Emergency Fund to reimburse local communities for disaster assistance.

The House has also passed a bill that will allow a school nurse to administer epinephrine injections to a student experiencing a severe allergic reaction without fear of liability. In the case that a student has a severe allergic reaction to food or environmental factors but does not have an epinephrine injection with them, it is still necessary that they receive treatment as soon as possible. House Bill 2700 allows schools to keep two shots of epinephrine onsite and administer it in emergency situations.

House lawmakers also continue to improve state child welfare practices in Oklahoma. This week we approved legislation that would require the Department of Human Services to conduct an investigation when a drug-endangered child is identified.

House Bill 2251 clearly defines the circumstances that would deem a child as “drug-endangered.” This bill is designed to increase awareness of the problems posited by children being exposed to the hazardous lifestyles that come with drug abuse. Furthermore, the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics is in the process of restarting a Drug Endangered Child program, which will provide training to child-welfare workers and law enforcement across the state.

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