Claims over school mandates may be overblown, especially in light of Oklahoma's Conversion school program which allows a public school to transition to a charter, thereby avoiding many of the so-called mandates.
"Conversion Schools: Local Districts Have No Excuse" by Vance H. Fried and Byron Schlomach points out that Oklahoma law allows school boards to designate all or any part of a school as a conversion school. A conversion school is similar to a charter school in that it is exempted from a number of rules and regulations faced by public schools. This allows for more innovation and quicker, more thorough changes that are needed for a failing or mediocre school to become an excellent one. The paper offers several ideas for specialized programming for conversion schools. Summary
“School Mandates: So What?" by Sean Kinder, Byron Schlomach, and Vance H. Fried is a short introduction to the 1889 Institute's database of public school mandates in Oklahoma. Many mandates, like the requirement that adequate lighting be provided in libraries, are trivial and seem meant to create potential "gotcha" moments for school administration. Others are anachronistic, like the requirement that a committee determine if a child with AIDS should attend school. Others are reasonable. Most add to the administrative burden and overall cost of public education.
1889's Database of Public School Mandates (download in Microsoft Excel)