Capitol Report Q&A: Rep. Jadine Nollan
BY WAYNE GREENE World Senior Writer
Sunday, March 17, 2013
3/17/13 at 3:32 AM
Home: Sand Springs
Tenure: Serving her second term as a state House member.
Family: Married 31 years; three adult children.
Occupation: Full-time legislator; prior to House service, Nollan was executive director of Sand Springs Community Services, a United Way emergency relief agency.
Tell me about your district: "I literally represent urban, suburban and rural demographics. I love that because it gives me a broad perspective on how legislation is going to impact our state ..."
What's the No. 1 issue that's bringing you constituent contact this year?: "I definitely have heard a lot about our education issues ... (During the election campaign) when I was door-knocking, I heard a lot about education funding, I heard a lot about unfunded mandates, and I heard a lot about the issues with our (school) reforms. So that has been a big focus for me ..."
Your bill to change the graduation testing process for some special needs students passed unanimously. Tell me about it: "It's for students who are categorized as severely or profoundly disabled. It allows them to use their individualized education programs ... as the assessment in order to receive their diplomas in lieu of the end-of-instruction tests ... There is a big difference between some of our high-performing disabled kids and the kids who are categorized as severely and profoundly disabled. ... This is important for the school districts, too, because they get penalized by the federal government if more than 2 percent of their students don't receive diplomas."
You served on the Sand Springs school board before you were elected to the Legislature. What's the most important thing that the Legislature could do this year to help public schools?: "Funding of course. We have a lot of unfunded mandates titled as reforms, but they cost money. I definitely think we need to fund our reforms for sure. I think that will be very important. The other thing is I know there has been a lot of frustration with some of the reforms and how accurate they are. There was a lot of frustration in the A-through-F (school ratings). I have been working with the education decision-makers in hope of getting those improved so that they better reflect the performance of the schools."