Despite attack ads stating otherwise, state Senator Stephanie Bice said she is a proud supporter of Oklahoma teachers.
Bice is the Republican candidate for Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District and is running against incumbent U.S. Rep. Kendra Horn.
On Tuesday, Bice spoke with News 9 about her views on education.
Bice said she had received a donation from Epic Charter Schools' co-founder David Chaney. However, the state senator said she refunded the donation after learning of an audit alleging Epic embezzled funds.
When it comes to charter schools, Bice said there is a need for programs like Epic, but they must be transparent with how they spend tax dollars.
“We shouldn't be demonizing charter schools. My sister-in-law teaches at a charter school and it is phenomenal. But if a school isn't being transparent, and there's question about whether or not they're spending taxpayer dollars wisely, I think it's worthy of an additional conversation and investigation,” Bice said.
When it comes to alternatives, Bice is a proud supporter of post-secondary options and promotion of the trades.
As for traditional public school, Bice believes students should return to in-person learning. Unlike other GOP leaders, however, she is against withholding funding from districts that continue distance learning.
Bice said in order to bring students back to class, districts need proper funding for PPE.
While attack ads have implied Bice is anti-educator, she said her voting record for teacher raises shows otherwise.
“I've been incredibly supportive of public education. I've not voted for one teacher pay raise. I voted for two. I voted for the $6000 pay raise in 2018 and an additional $1200 teacher pay raise in 2019,” Bice said.