Governor Vetoes Bill, Rolling Back Literacy Standards

Tuesday, May 20th 2014, 7:25 pm

Governor Mary Fallin vetoes House Bill 2625.

HB 2625 would put the decision on if kids move onto fourth-grade back into the hands of parents and educators. The Governor says that returns us to a system that is failing Oklahoma students.

The Governor vetoed the bill just one day after a group of parents presented Governor Mary Fallin with over 2,000 signatures urging her to sign the HB 2625.

"Promotion to the fourth-grade should be about one thing: the child has mastered or at least absorbed the minimum amount of reading skills they need to succeed in the fourth-grade," Fallin said.

"I'm honestly just dumbfounded," Amy Eldridge said.

5/20/14 Related Story: Oklahoma Governor Vetoes Changes To Reading Requirements

Eldridge is one of the parents leading the charge for HB 2625. Her third-grade son, TJ, has severe dyslexia and even though he gets all A's and B's in school, he didn't pass the state reading test. She said he won't qualify for any of the exemptions.

"My son is an amazing kid, who has made grade level for anything else," said Eldridge. "To tell him he is a failure and he can't go on, it just makes absolutely no sense to me."

Governor Fallin said illiteracy affects all aspects of our society, and we need to fix the problem.

"I think if we can catch the children early, diagnose the problem early on, we can help these children."

The bill passed the Senate, 43 to 1, and the House, 89 to 6. Some lawmakers are already vowing to override the Governor's veto.