Brandon Dutcher | June 14, 2022
With education ‘on the wrong track,’ Oklahomans support parental choice
Most Oklahomans believe K-12 education is on the wrong track. They would choose something other than a regular public school if given the choice. And they support letting the money follow the child.
“Do you feel things in K–12 education are generally going in the right direction, or do you feel things have generally gotten off on the wrong track?” Only 35% of Oklahoma adults say things are going in the right direction.
“If given the option, and neither financial costs nor transportation were factors, what type of school would you select in order to obtain the best education for your child?” Only 40% of Oklahoma parents say they would choose a regular public school—while 56% would choose something else (specifically, 32% said private school, 15% home school, and 9% charter school).
“An ‘education savings account’ in K–12 education—often called an ESA—establishes for parents a government-authorized savings account with restricted but multiple uses for educational purposes. Parents can then use these funds to pay for: school tuition; tutoring; online education programs; therapies for students with special needs; textbooks or other instructional materials; or save for future college expenses. In general, what is your opinion of education savings accounts (ESAs)?” Fully 67% of Oklahoma adults—and a whopping 77% of Oklahoma parents—support ESAs.
“The time is always right to do what is right,” political scientist Greg Forster observes, “but momentum for school choice has also never been stronger.” Survey results like the ones above continue to make that clear. It’s time for Oklahoma lawmakers to do what is right: put parents in charge.
Senior Vice President
Brandon Dutcher is OCPA’s senior vice president. Originally an OCPA board member, he joined the staff in 1995. Dutcher received his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Oklahoma. He received a master’s degree in journalism and a master’s degree in public policy from Regent University. Dutcher is listed in the Heritage Foundation Guide to Public Policy Experts, and is editor of the book Oklahoma Policy Blueprint, which was praised by Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman as “thorough, well-informed, and highly sophisticated.” His award-winning articles have appeared in Investor’s Business Daily, WORLD magazine, Forbes.com, Mises.org, The Oklahoman, the Tulsa World, and 200 newspapers throughout Oklahoma and the U.S. He and his wife, Susie, have six children and live in Edmond.