Parents Oppose Vouchers
The Oklahoma legislative session begins Monday, February 7. Already, we're hearing that voucher bills will be heard by the Senate Education Committee within the first week and, if approved, fast-tracked to the Senate floor.
WHY ARE VOUCHERS PROBLEMATIC?
- Vouchers use public funds for private institutions. They are constitutionally questionable.
- Vouchers lack accountability. When tax-payer funds are given to private entities, the usual public oversight to prevent fraud and ensure intended outcomes disappears.
- Vouchers distort the purpose of public education. Public schools are a common good that benefit society by protecting democracy through an educated citizenry, giving every kid the hope of a successful future. Voucher supporters believe they are entitled to personal usage of their tax dollars. They don't wish to participate in the common good.
VOUCHERS ARE COSTLY.
If a universal voucher bill becomes law, public education will immediately lose approximately $170,000,000 to pay for our state's existing 34,000 private school students. That's without any change in the current number of public school students. Can your school district afford to lose funding while serving the same number of kids?
YOUR VOICE IS NEEDED.
Senate Pro Tem Greg Treat, the Senate Leader, is the author of the largest voucher bill being proposed this session. With the backing of Governor Stitt, Sen. Treat believes he has the power to push vouchers through despite the lack of public support. Treat is term-limited and operating without the accountability of an opponent in an upcoming election. But, the members of the Senate Education Committee don't have that luxury. They need our reminder that vouchers are bad policy and their support or opposition will be remembered at the polls.