Article Updated: Wednesday, Feb. 24
On Tuesday, Feb. 23 the Oklahoma Senate confirmed Trent Smith’s nomination to the State Board of Education by a vote of 38-9.
The former OU football captain’s nomination previously advanced through the Senate Education Committee with a 10-3 vote on Feb. 9. Gov. Kevin Stitt nominated Smith to the state board in January after his original choice to fill the vacancy, Melissa Crabtree, requested the governor rescind her appointment. The nomination passed the committee with a vote of 10 to 3 and will now advance to the full Senate for further consideration.
Smith, 41, is the CEO of Accentra Home Health and Hospice. He also served as a commissioner for the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission until his resignation in January.
“Trent Smith will put the future generations of Oklahomans first,” Said Gov. Stitt, “which is why I nominated him to fill the seat and why I trust he will be critical in helping Oklahoma become a Top 10 state in education. Trent brings a wealth of experience as a businessman, community leader, and parent and I look forward to his contributions to our state’s success by putting students first.”
In response, Smith echoed the governor’s sentiments, stating:
“The governor and I both agree that if you can somehow raise the bar on Oklahoma education and have better educational outcomes, not only will that raise our status and ranking in the country in regard to public education, but when you have a more educated workforce and educated populace, a lot of the problems that our state has start to disappear — knowledge creates order, not chaos.”
The three dissenting votes were cast by committee members who questioned Smith on his views regarding the charter school application process and state voucher programs. The majority of the committee expressed their confidence in Smith’s ability to help improve the education system in Oklahoma and help students succeed.
To learn more about Smith’s appointment, visit the Oklahoman.