OKLAHOMA CITY (OBV) – The Oklahoma Senate passed a bill that incentivizes schools to better prepare students for higher education, future careers and military service.
Senate Bill 531, written by Sen. Adam Pugh, Sen. Jessica Garvin and Rep. Nicole Miller, establishes the Rewarding Student Outcomes Act.
The bill unanimously passed the Senate with a 46-0 vote.
The Rewarding Student Outcomes Act creates an outcomes-based incentive program that rewards schools that hit benchmarks in helping students better prepare for college, career or military service.
Public school districts, charter schools and virtual charter schools must have at least a one percent increase in the number of annual graduates who demonstrate college, career or military readiness above the number of graduates from the preceding school year to qualify for incentives.
SB 531 changes the annual school report card, moving it from metrics that indirectly punish schools for factors outside of their control – such as student absenteeism – and tying annual performance scores to readiness, which impacts a student’s future.
The act provides schools a $1,500 per graduate award for graduates who are economically disadvantaged, and a $500 per graduate award for graduates who are not economically disadvantaged.
Readiness benchmarks include the following:
- College readiness: achieves a benchmark score on the ACT, SAT or another assessment designated by the State Department of Education; scores a 3, 4 or 5 on an advanced placement exam; scores a 4, 5, 6 or 7 on an International Baccalaureate examination; or earns transcripted college credit while still in high school through concurrent or dual enrollment.
- Career readiness: scores the silver level or above on the ACT WorkKeys assessment, or earns an industry credential.
- Military readiness: achieves a passing score set by the applicable military branch on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery, or is accepted for enlistment in the United States Armed Forces.
SB 531 will next move to the Oklahoma House of Representatives for consideration.
The readiness benchmark system will go into effect in the 2025-26 school year if the bill passes the House and is signed into law by Gov. Kevin Stitt.