Wednesday, May 21, 2014
OKLAHOMA CITY – Governor Mary Fallin today issued the following statement regarding the veto override of House Bill 2625:
“I am disappointed today that the Legislature chose to override my veto of HB 2625, a bill which undercuts third-grade literacy standards and returns us to a system that has failed Oklahoma children for decades.
“At issue is this: what is the best way to help the nearly 8,000 third-graders we know are reading at a first-grade level? By overriding my veto, the Legislature has ensured the vast amount of these third-graders will go on to the fourth grade. They have not, however, acted to provide them with the tools they need to succeed. These children will now be asked to do more difficult coursework, and to do so with very limited reading skills.
“My concern continues to be that we are setting these children up for failure. We are asking them to succeed when we have not given them the skills they need to do so.
“Moving forward, the challenge for lawmakers, teachers, administrators and parents is clear: we must focus on teaching these children to read at a level that prepares them for success in school and beyond.
“The actions taken today by the Legislature do not bring us closer to that goal. My hope is that lawmakers and the education community can work together in the future to tackle the widespread reading deficiencies we see in our schools. Our children deserve nothing less.”