Oklahoma State Superintendent Ryan Walters Says Proposed Rule Changes 'Common Sense'

Oklahoma State Superintendent Ryan Walters joined News 9 This Morning on Tuesday as Oklahoma lawmakers look toward implementing new rules for schools in the state.

Tuesday, May 14th 2024, 10:06 am

By: News 9


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Oklahoma State Superintendent Ryan Walters joined News 9 This Morning on Tuesday as Oklahoma lawmakers look toward implementing new rules for schools in the state.

Walters wants to change several rules that would affect every school across the state, but is facing opposition from certain lawmakers. In regards to that opposition, Walters said his proposed rule changes are "common sense."

"Our rule changes are all very common sense... not a partisan issue," Walters said. "But Democrats have lied about these rules. The reality is, every one of our rules is connected to a statute. So all of our rules that we're rolling out, we look to statute. We try to make sure that our kids are getting a better education."

As for the direction Walters plans to take Oklahoma schools, Walters said he wants to focus on academics and student safety.

"We're going to keep sexual predators out of the classroom," Walters said. "We're going to make sure that academic outcomes are the focus of our schools."

When asked about the longevity of his rule changes, and the likelihood of a successor in his position undoing his implementations, Walters said it is his office's goal to make Oklahoma students successful.

"That's what we have elections for," Walters said. "The people of Oklahoma elected me to come in and ensure that our schools are following state statute."

Some of the changes being debated at the Oklahoma State Capitol on Tuesday include changes to gender markers on student paperwork, as well as prayer in the classroom. Despite the debate though, Walters said he remains confident in his implementations being approved.

"I think that they're all going to pass, and they all need to pass," Walters said. "We've worked on this for a year, meeting with parents, teachers [and] families across the state of Oklahoma."

In regards to school curriculum, Walters said he wishes to combat "woke indoctrination" by including education covering topics such as American exceptionalism and Western civilization.

Walters also said his office is planning to launch summer school programs designed to help students who may be falling behind, and assist them with getting caught up with their education.

"We're going to be launching some of the biggest summer school programs over the summer," Walters said. "We want to make sure any kids falling behind can get caught back up."

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