Legislation would regulate virtual instruction in Oklahoma
(KTEN) — Senate Bill 1768 passed out of the Oklahoma Senate Education Committee Tuesday by a 9-3 vote.
The legislation aims to limit when public schools can have virtual instruction days, mandating that remote learning can only take place when there is inclement weather, a lack of adequate staff due to illness, or issues stemming from building maintenance.
The bill would also require a minimum numbers of hours of instruction needed to be delivered during those virtual school days — five-and-a half hours required for kindergarten through 8th grade, and a minimum of 8 hours for 9th through 12th graders.
State Rep. Josh Cantrell (R-District 49) is a critic of remote learning.
"It didn't prove to be an effective way for children to learn," he said. "When we was coming out of COVID, we had a lot of kids that were behind on certain sections — like reading, for example and mathematics — so I think having guardrails on when we can go to virtual learning, I believe having virtual learning needs to be at a time when it's absolutely necessary."
The bill has been placed on general order and awaits further action on the Senate floor.