Ray Carter | March 2, 2022
School choice a major issue for Oklahoma, Texas Republican voters
School choice has become a major issue for Republican voters not only in Oklahoma, but also in neighboring Texas, based on the results of a statewide primary vote in Texas and polling in Oklahoma.
Among the items placed before Texas voters on the March 1 primary ballot were 10 propositions submitted to GOP voters by the Texas State Republican Executive Committee. Voting results on those propositions are used to guide the party’s policy priorities.
Proposition 9 stated, “Texas parents and guardians should have the right to select schools, whether public or private, for their children, and the funding should follow the student.”
Based on results posted the following morning, nearly 88 percent of Republican voters in Texas supported the school-choice proposition. A higher share of Texas Republicans supported school choice than supported Proposition 6, which called for the Republican-controlled Texas Legislature to end the practice of awarding committee chairmanships to Democrats, and Proposition 5, which called for Texas to enact a state constitutional amendment to “defend the sanctity of innocent human life, created in the image of God, from fertilization until natural death.”
As of the morning of March 2, Texas election results showed that 95 percent of polling locations had reported results.
The outcome of the Texas vote aligns with recent polling in Oklahoma.
A poll conducted this year by Cole Hargrave Snodgrass & Associates and publicized in the latest edition of that firm’s “Sooner Survey” publication found 78 percent of Oklahoma Republican voters favor school choice, which the poll described as giving parents “the right to use tax dollars associated with their child’s education to send their child to the public or private school which better serves their needs.”
As in Texas, Oklahoma Republican voters now express stronger support for school choice than even for other issues long considered bedrock principles of the party.
“On the whole, Oklahoma Republican primary voters are more supportive of school choice than say they are pro-life,” wrote Pat McFerron, president of Cole Hargrave Snodgrass & Associates.
Director, Center for Independent Journalism
Ray Carter is the director of OCPA’s Center for Independent Journalism. He has two decades of experience in journalism and communications. He previously served as senior Capitol reporter for The Journal Record, media director for the Oklahoma House of Representatives, and chief editorial writer at The Oklahoman. As a reporter for The Journal Record, Carter received 12 Carl Rogan Awards in four years—including awards for investigative reporting, general news reporting, feature writing, spot news reporting, business reporting, and sports reporting. While at The Oklahoman, he was the recipient of several awards, including first place in the editorial writing category of the Associated Press/Oklahoma News Executives Carl Rogan Memorial News Excellence Competition for an editorial on the history of racism in the Oklahoma legislature.