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Chair of Senate Republican Rural Caucus Pledges to Block Forced School Consolidation Efforts

(State Capitol, Oklahoma City) The Chairman of the Senate Republican Rural Caucus said his group would fight any effort by urban legislators Democrats or Republicans to forcibly consolidate rural public school districts.

The members of the Senate Republican Rural Caucus strongly oppose forced school consolidation, and we will oppose any effort to do so in the Oklahoma State Senate, stated Sen. Owen Laughlin, R-Woodward.

Laughlin also asked for help from rural Democrats in the Oklahoma Legislature to end Democrat Gov. Brad Henrys school consolidation project, which is funded with proceeds from the state lottery.

Every time an Oklahoman buys a lottery ticket, 5 percent of the proceeds go to the governors school consolidation project. In the 2006 legislative session, rural Senate Republicans will be seeking the support of rural Democrats to put an end to Gov. Henrys lottery school consolidation program, Laughlin said.

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Senate Communications Office- (405) 521-5774