By Associated Press
5:21 PM CDT, May 8, 2009
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Gov. Brad Henry has vetoed legislation that would allow public schools to operate as charter schools free of many state school mandates.
Henry vetoed the Republican-supported bill Friday, saying it would turn back the clock on decades of education reforms.
The bill was supported by some school administrators and school boards who claimed it would have given them more local control. It was opposed by the Oklahoma Education Association, which said it could eliminate school librarians and counselors.
Henry says local school administrators could ignore rigorous state standards and create their own academic benchmarks and rules under the bill.
The Democratic governor says it would be a disastrous step backward to approve legislation that weakens state standards, abolishes historic reforms and reduces rights and benefits provided to teachers.