Oklahoma City – Each year, thousands of military families are transferred to Oklahoma’s four military bases. State Sen. Frank Simpson, with Oklahoma City Rep. Max Wolfley, authored a pair of bills this session to help these families speed up the process of getting their children back in the classroom.
Senate Bills 68 and 69 were signed into law on April 20.
The first was a request of the U.S. Department of Defense to bring Oklahoma in line with other state under the National Compact on the Education of Military Children. S.B. 68 provides school district residency status to children of active military members who have been or will be transferred to a state military base.
Schools will be required to accept electronic student enrollment applications and parents must provide proof of residence within 10 days of moving to Oklahoma.
Currently, only Oklahoma residents can enroll in a statewide virtual charter school. SB 69 provides the same provisions as S.B. 68 to allow military children to enroll in virtual charters.
“We have a large military population in Oklahoma, and these bills will make it easier for those transferring in to get their children back to school as quickly as possible,” Simpson, a Springer Republican, said.
Sen. Simpson, U.S. Navy veteran and Senate Military and Veterans Affairs Committee chair, continued: “It’s hard enough being a military family with the constant moving and deployments. These measures will help take away some of the burden of getting their kids enrolled and back in the classroom. I want to thank my legislative colleagues for their tremendous support of these two bills to help our military families.”
Rep. Max Wolfley, R-Oklahoma City, whose district includes Tinker Air Force Base, is the principal House author of the bills.
“I believe that Senate Bills 68 and 69 will help ease the burden military families and children are facing when enrolling in virtual charter or other public schools, and I was glad to work with Sen. Simpson to carry this legislation in the House,” Wolfley said.
The measures will go into effect July 1, 2021.