Controversial Education Savings Account 'Voucher' Bill Makes It Out Of Committee

The controversial Education Savings Account “Voucher” Bill made it out of committee on Tuesday. 

Tuesday, February 15th 2022, 6:19 pm



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The controversial Education Savings Account “Voucher” Bill made it out of committee on Tuesday. 

The bill passed after Senator Pro Temp Greg Treat and Floor Leader Greg McCortney voted yes on the measure. It passed by a vote of 8-7. 

Senator Treat answered questions for the better part of two hours Tuesday in front of a packed chamber.  

Lawmakers questioned financial accountability, student safety, and academic standards. 

“There are going to be people who try to take advantage of money, regardless of how you do it, you just have to make sure laws are adequate to be able to catch those,” Treat said.  

Senator Treat said he was willing to adjust the bill to get more support from Democrats and Republicans.  

That might be an uphill battle as the bill receives pushback.  

“We are already eager to keep chipping away at the foundation of the fabric of the educational services for our kids,” said Sen. Carri Hicks (D-OKC). 

Lawmakers in support say it would give power to parents. 

“Man, these parents have been ignored by school administrators and school boards,” said Sen. Joe Newhouse, (R-Tulsa). 

By his estimates, Treat said the bill would open up about $145 million in state aid money to be immediately claimed by the 36,000 current private school students in the state.  

But he says he’s willing to change this, and that it’s unlikely that all private schools would participate in the program.  

“Giving parents control of the money for their children’s education is the essence of this bill,” said Treat. 

Although the bill progressed in the Senate, top House Republican Charles McCall said last week that voucher bills, specifically Treat's Education Savings Accounts bill, were not a priority for his caucus and would not be heard in the House 

Governor Kevin Stitt released a statement saying he was pleased with the vote.  

The head of The State Department of Education Joy Hofmeister continues to express concern about voucher bills, saying they will “decimate funding for all children in public schools.” 


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