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Gov Signs Bill to Shift Power from State Board (Apr 08, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Republican Gov. Mary Fallin has signed into law a bill that shifts power from the state board of education to the state superintendent over the objections of Democrats who say the proposal grants too much power to one person.

The bill signed by Fallin late Friday places control over the state Department of Education to newly elected Republican state Superintendent Janet Barresi. The bill also gives Barresi the power to develop the budget for public schools in Oklahoma.

Fallin maintains the bill is designed to make the department "more accountable and responsive" to the will of the voters.

Democrats contend the move is a power grab by Republicans, who control the House, Senate and governor's office for the first time in state history.

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