Oklahoma House Overrides Governor's Veto of Reading Bill

Members of the Oklahoma House of Representatives voted to override Governor Mary Fallin's veto of a bill that would make it easier for schools to promote third graders who may not be reading at grade level.

The Republican-controlled House voted 79-17 Wednesday in favor of the override. The Senate author of the bill says he plans to seek an override in that chamber. If successful, the bill would become law notwithstanding the veto.

"Nothing in this bill removes retention from the equation if that is what is best for that child," State Representative Katie Henke said. "All this does is allow the ones closest to the child to make the decision rather than a score on a test."

On Tuesday, Fallin vetoed the bill that would have modified the Reading Sufficiency Act to allow a team that includes parents, teachers, administrators and a reading specialist to decide whether a student should advance to the fourth grade.

Henke added that she thinks the new law will only buy time as it impacts this years and next years third graders. Faculty and administrators will be able to see how effective this bill is in Oklahoma schools.

Fallin maintains the bill would undermine the goal of the act and set up children for failure.