Following opposition from school administrators and concern from lawmakers, the Oklahoma Education Board has rescinded emergency rules that the board previously approved requiring school districts to provide online courses.
The rules were passed to come into compliance with a law that took effect in 2010.
The law requires school districts to offer supplemental online courses, when requested by students or parents, for subjects that aren’t offered in the schools.
“We approved those and now two and a half weeks later we decide that the rules are no good?” asked board member Lee Baxter. “Nobody understood that this was going to happen? I think it’s a little embarrassing, actually.”
Board Member Phil Lakin said he heard from many school districts that were concerned about the emergency rules the board had passed.
“They’re affecting the school district midstream and there were not financial plans for that,” Lakin said.
The board voted unanimously to rescind the emergency rules and instead wait for the formal rule-making process that begins with the legislative session in February. That process will include public input and multiple votes from the board.
Sen. Gary Stanislawski, R-Tulsa, authored Senate Bill 2319 that created the supplemental online education law.
“I wanted to make sure that students were able to get courses that they could not get within their local school district,” Stanislawski said. “For example, if a rural school did not have an Advanced Placement chemistry teacher, then I wanted to make sure that student had the right to take that class.”
A version of this article appeared in the February 08, 2012 edition of Digital Directions as Oklahoma Board Rescinds E-Course Requirement