State Journal: Bellmon's next move; Lobbyists's lobby prevails in Topeka

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments


Henry Bellmon has decided not to seek another term as Oklahoma's governor, opting instead to focus his efforts on constitutional reform.

"The advantages of the incumbency are considerable and I have little doubt that should I become a candidate for governor I could be re-elected" in 1990, Mr. Bellmon said in a March 16 statement. "However, there are remaining tasks which cannot be accomplished by a governor who is running for re-election."

In the statement, Governor Bellmon said the existing constitution has diffused executive-branch authority among more than 200 boards, agencies, and commissions, making the job of governing "extremely difficult."

"In effect, dozens of little 'czars' are in control," he continued. "Oklahoma state government needs to be more accountable and more responsible to the people. I believe that a 21st-century state constitution is the greatest legacy I can leave Oklahoma."

Mr. Bellmon also noted that although "education is said to be our top priority, ... the constitution hampers local support of common education and creates conflicts in higher education."

Last year, the Governor created a task force to study the constitution and recommend changes. The group is expected to release its report by early fall.

Wendy Johnson, Mr. Bellmon's assistant press secretary, said the Governor plans to spend much of his next 21 months in office raising funds in support of a petition drive to place the proposed reforms on the 1990 general-election ballot.

Kansas school districts will once again be able to hire lobbyists to take their cases to state lawmakers, under a bill signed recently by Gov. Mike Hayden.

Last year, the state's attorney general issued an opinion that challenged the right of districts to use taxpayer dollars to pay lobbyists' salaries. The ruling, however, did not prohibit more affluent districts from continuing their practice of assigning a full-time employee to legislative activities.

As a result, this year there were only three lobbyists roaming the state capitol halls on behalf of Kansas districts.

The Kansas Association of School Boards was one of several education groups that lobbied in favor of the bill.

Norman Reynolds, the group's director of educational services, said the issue was one of fairness.

"The ability to lobby the legislature should not be the function of [a district's] size," he said.

--tm & ef

Vol. 08, Issue 27

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories

Viewed

Emailed

Recommended

Commented

Sponsor Insights

Free Ebook: How to Implement a Coding Program in Schools

Successful Intervention Builds Student Success

Effective Ways to Support Students with Dyslexia

Stop cobbling together your EdTech

Integrate Science and ELA with Informational Text

Can self-efficacy impact growth for ELLs?

Disruptive Tech Integration for Meaningful Learning

Building Community for Social Good

5 Resources on the Power of Interoperability from Unified Edtech

New campaign for UN World Teachers Day

5 Game-Changers in Today’s Digital Learning Platforms

Hiding in Plain Sight - 7 Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom

The research: Reading Benchmark Assessments

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

All Students Are Language Learners: The Imagine Learning Language Advantage™

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

How to Support All Students with Equitable Pathways

2019 K-12 Digital Content Report

3-D Learning & Assessment for K–5 Science

Climate Change, LGBTQ Issues, Politics & Race: Instructional Materials for Teaching Complex Topics

Closing the Science Achievement Gap

Evidence-based Coaching: Key Driver(s) of Scalable Improvement District-Wide

Advancing Literacy with Large Print

Research Sheds New Light on the Reading Brain

Tips for Supporting English Learners Through Personalized Approaches

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning

The Nonnegotiable Attributes of Effective Feedback

SEE MORE Insights >