Education

Raise the cap for students and schools

March 6, 2019

Staff

Right now, you have a chance to help two vital pieces of legislation across the finish line. The bills would give a boost to thousands of Oklahoma children in smaller, rural public schools as well as those hoping to attend private schools that better fit their needs.

House Bill 2621 by state Rep. Jon Echols (R-Oklahoma City) and Senate Bill 407 by state Sen. Dave Rader (R-Tulsa) would both raise the current cap on the total tax credits that can be awarded to donors to the Equal Opportunity Scholarship program. Every dollar donated under that program, by businesses and individuals, flows directly to schools to help kids in need.

Sadly, some in the education establishment oppose any program not under their direct control. They have resorted to distortions and even outright lies in desperate efforts to block these bills. Nevertheless, both have cleared committees and could be the subject of floor votes within the next 48 hours.

To set the record straight, the Equal Opportunity Scholarship program is not a voucher. It does not redirect any education funds. Donations are entirely voluntary and must go to schools. As economists at Oklahoma City University have noted, it saves tax dollars and returns almost three dollars for every one expended.

This program is already helping children who were bullied, who have special needs, or who for many other reasons needed a specialized education program. It has helped smaller, rural schools launch learning programs they could not otherwise have afforded. It gives parents a little more freedom to direct the education of their own children. And all that is accomplished by the generosity of Oklahoma companies and businesses which these two bills will further encourage.

HB 2621 and SB 407 could likely be heard this week. Please contact your state representative and senator today and urge them to support these two bills. Thousands of Oklahoma children will thank you!

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