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Full Senate Passes Bill to Replace Education Board (Feb 21, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Senate has approved a bill to change the current composition of state Board of Education and replace it with a structure similar to the one in place four decades ago.

The bill approved Monday would abolish the current board of gubernatorial appointees and replace it with a board that includes the governor, attorney general and secretary of state, or their designees. The state superintendent would remain a member of the board.

Republican lawmakers are looking to strip power from the board appointed by former Democratic Gov. Brad Henry after a contentious meeting last month with new Republican state Superintendent Janet Barresi during which the board refused to authorize the hiring of several of Barresi's staffers.

Some Democrats expressed concern the bill was a "knee-jerk reaction" to that meeting.

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