Legislative Goals

Legislative Goals

ODSS’ Legislative and Administrative Priorities for 2017

Priorities for the Legislature:

  • Provide a level of funding that will enable districts to support the maintenance and creation of appropriate programs and services for students with disabilities, including sufficient funds to
    • attract and retain special education teachers, paraprofessionals and related service personnel and
    • meet the many and unique needs of students with multiple disabilities, autism, mental health issues and hearing and vision impairments
  • Provide a pay raise for all teachers, using funds made available by the state
  • Take effective and immediate action designed to help school districts attract and retain qualified
    • special education teachers and
    • related service providers, such as speech-language pathologists, physical and occupational therapists, school psychologists, behavior consultants/specialists and educational interpreters for students who are deaf or hearing impaired
  • Ensure that any new mandate that requires school districts to screen for and/or treat  various conditions is well-thought out and supported by sufficient funding and a realistic timeline for effective implementation       

Priorities for the State Department of Education and other state agencies:

  • Take effective and immediate action designed to help school districts attract  and retain qualified
    • special education teachers and
    • related service providers, such as speech-language pathologists, physical and occupational therapists, school psychologists, behavior consultants/specialists and educational interpreters for students who are deaf or hearing impaired
  • “Grandfather in” for 2017-18 and beyond all previous certifications that were awarded through highly qualified teacher requirements for special education teachers
  • Allow certified special education teachers to add additional subject areas to their certificates by passing the OSAT for those subjects for direct instruction in special education or co-teaching settings only
  • Combine the current mild-moderate and severe-profound special education certificates into one special education certificate
  • Create additional paths to training and certification for teachers of students with visual and/or hearing impairments and for orientation and mobility specialists
  • Provide free/low-cost, easily accessible training (online and/or throughout different regions of the state)  designed to help school staff members at all levels work more effectively with students who have significant emotional and/or behavioral issues that impede learning
  • Provide more and varied free/low-cost, easily accessible training  designed to help school staff members at all levels across a broad range of disability-related issues, including providing accommodations/supports for students with all sorts of impairments in the general education setting
  • Collaborate (via inter-agency agreement, etc.) to provide free/low-cost therapeutic services or links to such services for students with mental health issues
  • Collaborate with the Oklahoma Health Care Authority to eliminate obstacles to district billing/payment for services deemed necessary by student IEP teams
  • Continue efforts to ensure appropriate assessment of students with disabilities, especially students with the most significant cognitive impairments
  • Reduce/combine special ed paperwork requirements to minimize teacher time away from instruction

Click Here to download the Approved 2016-17 ODSS Legislative Goals in pdf format.