| December 11, 2012

School choice myth-busting in Oklahoma

School-board elections will be held across the state on February 12, 2013. Charles Daniels, a Bartlesville attorney who served on his local school board for eight years, has some words of hard-earned wisdom to pass along to future school-board members. He writes:

  • School systems exist primarily for the benefit of the adults who work in them, and your complicity in this arrangement is assumed.
  • No amount of state money is ever enough, but you'll be expected to be an unpaid lobbyist, always asking your local legislators for more.
  • Competition from private schools improves public education, but you'll be asked to oppose vouchers and tax credits that even slightly level the playing field.
  • Finally, you'll be expected to scream like a banshee any time poor kids try to escape the public school system.

Regrettably, Mr. Daniels is correct. Though there are exceptions—one local school board actually approved a voucher program which sends students to private schools—most school boards are part of the educational establishment and continue to perpetuate myths about parental choice (the Sand Springs school board comes to mind).

Tired of all the myths, the Americans for Prosperity Foundation has produced this excellent documentary about parental choice featuring interviews with numerous Oklahomans. OCPA is well represented in the film, with terrific insights from our distinguished fellow Andrew Spiropoulos, trustee Bill Price, and president Michael Carnuccio.

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