OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Jabar Shumate has been named a national leader in education reformer as part of the Black Alliance for Educational Options’ 2012 Ed Reform Champions Under 40 for his work on expanding educational options in Oklahoma.
Shumate (D-Tulsa) was the sponsor of legislation that allowed higher education institutions to authorize charters. He also helped establish the first authorizing contract between Langston University and the Deborah Brown Charter School in Tulsa.
“It’s an honor to be recognized by the Black Alliance for Educational Options,” Shumate said. “Although I believe in supporting and improving our public schools, I also believe in supporting alternatives, especially for students in schools that are not adequately serving them. I have supported special needs scholarship legislation and regularly pushed for greater school choice.”
The organization launched its Ed Reform Champions Under 40 initiative earlier this year, seeking nominations of individuals under the age of 40 who are increasing access to high-quality educational options for low-income and working-class black families in the United States. The 2012 champions include school leaders, policymakers, teachers, activists, entrepreneurs, students and a journalist.
According to Alisha T. Morgan, Director of the Black Alliance for Educational Options Bailey-Sullivan Leadership Institute, “We believe this is the first time black reformers have been recognized as a group on the national level. BAEO is thrilled to identify, honor, and help cultivate the doers in our community who are changing the life trajectory of our most vulnerable children.”
The organization plans to solicit nominations and honor champions of education reform on an annual basis.