Gov. Kevin Stitt has established a disturbing pattern when it comes to the use of public tax dollars for education: he wants to take public tax dollars and send them to private schools instead, despite the fact that 95% of Oklahoma’s children attend public schools.
In his 2022 State of the State address, Stitt made his plan clear, offering thousands of dollars to parents who take their kids out of public schools.
This presents three major problems:
- It would take money away from public schools in Oklahoma, which already rank 47th in spending in the country.
- It would take money away from rural communities that have few — if any — private school options for K-12 education.
- It would reduce accountability in how public tax dollars are spent on the heels of the Epic Charter School scandal where Oklahoma tax dollars were even sent to a school in California.
The Republican Speaker of the House has criticized the plan, asking what a kid in Atoka is going to do with a voucher? Only 16 counties in the state offer a K-12 private school.
- “Public Education Spending in Oklahoma.” Melanie Hanson, Education Data Initiative, 08/02/2021
- “Gov. Kevin Stitt focuses on education, tax cuts, McGirt ruling in State of State speech.” Carmen Forman and Nuria Martinez-Keel, The Oklahoma, 02/07/2022
- “Oklahoma House Speaker Charles McCall: ‘I don’t plan to hear’ private school voucher bill.” Nuria Martinez-Keel, The Oklahoman, 02/11/2022
- National Center for Education Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics, Fall 2017