Budget & Tax , Education

Curtis Shelton | April 11, 2023

How much it costs to educate a child

Curtis Shelton

In 2022, per-pupil expenses in Oklahoma were $12,967. That means the state determined it costs nearly $13,000 to educate a child every year.

Currently, if a family chooses to attend private school or homeschool, they must find a way to pay for those expenses out of pocket while at the same time paying the taxes that support the $13,000 it costs to educate a child in public schools. The state Senate’s version of HB 1935 helps alleviate some of that burden, but still only provides half of what the state has determined it costs to educate a child. (The legislation provides a refundable tax credit of $7,500 per student. Homeschoolers see even less with only $1,000 available per taxpayer.)

When a family pulls a child out of public schools, the state no longer has to pay the costs associated with that child but keeps all of the revenue that the family pays in taxes. On average, a family of four pays $21,014 in taxes on a per capita basis.

Curtis Shelton Policy Research Fellow

Curtis Shelton

Policy Research Fellow

Curtis Shelton currently serves as a policy research fellow for OCPA with a focus on fiscal policy. Curtis graduated Oklahoma State University in 2016 with a Bachelors of Arts in Finance. Previously, he served as a summer intern at OCPA and spent time as a staff accountant for Sutherland Global Services.

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