Red Tape Task Force meets to determine recommendations for reducing school administrative costs



**CORRECTED VERSION**

OKLAHOMA CITY (Nov. 4, 2015) – The Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) today hosted the agency’s first meeting of the Red Tape Task Force, which State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister established with a goal of eliminating unnecessary administrative costs and actions.

“It is high time we take meaningful action against runaway administrative costs that take a toll in both financial and human capital,” said Hofmeister. “We are thrilled that so many education leaders and stakeholder groups are helming our efforts to reduce unnecessary red tape in our schools so that we can better serve classrooms and children. This is particularly critical as we look ahead to a very difficult budget year.”

Two Oklahoma superintendents, Joe Siano of Norman Public Schools and Jason James of Alex Public Schools, are serving as co-chairs of the 51-member task force, which has three standing subcommittees. Kirk Hartzler, superintendent of Union Public Schools, and Derald Glover, superintendent of Fort Gibson Public Schools, are co-chairs of the Legislative and Rules subcommittee; co-chairing the Systems subcommittee are Kent Shellenberger, superintendent of Bethany Public Schools, and Jason Simeroth, superintendent of Yukon Public Schools; while Justin Milner of Norman Public Schools and Jackie White of Union Public Schools will serve as co-chairs of the Federal Programs/Special Education subcommittee.

“I appreciate the state superintendent and State Department of Education staff for giving us an opportunity to really look at this issue,” said Siano. “There’s only so much time in the day, and educators—whether teachers or administrators—want to spend time on the things that are most impactful on the classroom. This is an opportunity to reallocate our resources and time to things that affect students and student learning.”

The group is anticipated to recommend both changes that OSDE can implement at its discretion and those that will require legislation.

According to James, the task force’s ultimate goal is to keep teachers doing what they do best.

“I believe teachers are the greatest educational tool ever created,” he said. “My goal for this task force is to help eliminate bureaucratic burdens placed on educators so they can get back to teaching the children of Oklahoma.”

Siano and James plan to make a full report of the Red Tape Task Force’s recommendations to the State Board of Education at its December meeting.

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Last updated on November 5, 2015