Family thankful for school-choice scholarship

November 27, 2013

“For years, Judith and Jacob Suarez prayed to be able to send their four children to Catholic schools,” OCPA research associate Tina Korbe Dzurisin writes this month in Perspective.

As active parishioners at Saint Eugene Catholic Church in Oklahoma City, they often encountered families whose kids attended private schools — and they couldn’t help but notice the resources available to those students. Meanwhile, their own children — Kevin, 14, Jacob, 13, Jocelyn, 11, and Judith, 9 — attended public schools in the Mid-Del school district. They reported mild bullying, and Jocelyn, in particular, fell behind academically. As dearly as they desired an alternative, the couple simply could not afford the cost of Catholic school tuition.

Both from Mexico, Mr. and Mrs. Suarez entered the United States legally in the mid-1990s. Mrs. Suarez still barely speaks English. He works for Marianne’s Rentals, a company that rents tents, tables, chairs, tablecloths, and other party equipment. She cleans houses, working as often as jobs are available. Sometimes, that’s twice a week. Sometimes, that’s not at all. “I would see the other kids at Saint Eugene’s, and their opportunities were very different from my children’s,” Mrs. Suarez said in Spanish. “I would pray to God, ‘When will my children have a chance to go to Catholic school?’”

For the answer to that question, I encourage you to read the entire article, “For One Oklahoma Family, School-Choice Scholarship Came as a ‘Gift from God.’”

Indeed, Oklahomans who favor educational choice have a lot to be thankful for this year. Even as the defenders of the status quo continue to fight a rearguard action to protect their monopoly (by attacking the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarships, for example), educational freedom marches on. Click here to learn more about the tax-credit-scholarship program that is a godsend for the Suarez family. Scholarship-granting organizations are already up and running in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, and doubtless more will follow — giving more and more Oklahomans the opportunity to choose the safest and best schools for their children.