- Associated Press - Thursday, February 18, 2016

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Amid fierce resistance from parents to the idea of consolidating some of Oklahoma’s 515 school districts, the chairman of the Senate Education Committee says he won’t hear any bills this session dealing with the topic.

Republican Sen. John Ford of Tulsa said in a statement Thursday that even his own proposal for school district consolidation wouldn’t get a hearing this year.

Meanwhile, Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman says he wants to keep the issue alive and plans to transfer his consolidation bill from Ford’s committee to the Senate Rules Committee.

Facing a $1.3 billion budget shortfall, Gov. Mary Fallin and other Republican leaders have suggested consolidating some dependent K-8 school districts.

A school consolidation bill was soundly defeated this week in a House committee with bipartisan opposition.

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