Members of the Oklahoma State Senate are scheduling visits to local schools in their districts. It’s part of “America’s Legislators Back to School,” a program sponsored by the National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) aimed at helping children and teens learn more about government and representative democracy.
The program was founded in 1999 and officially kicks off the 2008-09 school year during the third week of September and continues through the spring semester. Each year more than 1,200 state lawmakers visit classrooms throughout the country to talk about the legislative process and help students gain a better understanding of what legislators do.
NCSL recently announced results of a study to measure the impact of America’s Legislators Back to School. According to the study conducted by Turcotte Public Administration Consulting and Training, LLC (TPACT), the Back to School program strengthened students’ understanding and appreciation of representative democracy.
Senators who have begun scheduling classroom visits include Sen. Cliff Aldridge, R-Midwest City, Sen. Brian Bingman, R-Sapulpa, Senate Co-President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City, Sen. Brian Crain, R-Tulsa, Sen. Mary Easley, D-Tulsa, Sen. John Ford, R-Bartlesville, Sen. Jay Paul Gumm, D-Durant, Sen. Connie Johnson, D-Oklahoma City, Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, Sen. Ron Justice, R-Chickasha, Sen. Todd Lamb, R-Edmond, Sen. Richard Lerblance, D-Hartshorne, Sen. David Myers, R-Ponca City, Sen. Jonathan Nichols, R-Norman and Sen. Susan Paddack, D-Ada. Other senators are expected to plan visits later in the school year.