Brandon Dutcher | April 28, 2014

Oklahomans want educational choices

Brandon Dutcher

More than once this legislative session, various members of Oklahoma’s monopoly education establishment (school-employee labor unions, school administrators, school boards association, PTA, et al.) have mobilized to squash legislation that would have given parents more educational options.

To understand why, one can begin by looking at the chart below. In December 2013 the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice commissioned a statewide survey of Oklahoma voters. The survey, which has a margin of error of ± 4.0 percentage points, was conducted by Braun Research, Inc., a company which has been used by such research firms as Gallup and the Pew Research Center. The survey found that, even though more than 9 in 10 Oklahoma students are in fact enrolled in a regular public school, if given a choice most Oklahomans would head for the exits. The results are even more pronounced among parents (as opposed to all voters). Only 33 percent of parents would choose a traditional public school for their children.

“Do you think nobody would willingly entrust his children to you to pay you for teaching them?” the author Isabel Paterson asked government school officials more than 70 years ago. “Why do you have to extort your fees and collect your pupils by compulsion?” Charts like this one go a long way toward answering those questions.


Brandon Dutcher Senior Vice President

Brandon Dutcher

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,,, 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.

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