Oklahoma House Reveals Education Plan

The Oklahoma House of Representatives revealed their plan for Oklahoma Education. The plan is split into two parts: increased education funding for public schools and the Oklahoma Parental Choice Tax Credit Act.

Thursday, February 16th 2023, 5:46 pm



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The Oklahoma House of Representatives revealed their plan for Oklahoma Education. The plan is split into two parts: increased education funding for public schools and the Oklahoma Parental Choice Tax Credit Act.

"This is ‘every kid wins’ policy and funding plan,” said Republican House Speaker Charles McCall.

Rep. McCall emphasized that their plan does not include a voucher or ESA program.

"We are not pulling money from the appropriated funds from public education. The tax credit is going to allow people to utilize their own money that they have before they give it to the state,” said Rep. McCall.

The Education funding is broken down into three parts, with a total of $500 million in increased funding for public schools.

  1. $150 Million in financial support used to increase teacher salaries, not administration, by $2,500, regardless of what they are currently being paid or the minimum salary schedule.
  2. $50 million to be distributed in a proportional manner the same as the Redbud School Grants, a grant funding for low-income districts.
  3. $300 million distributed to public school districts on a per-student basis.

"The education plan will put Oklahoma ahead of Arkansas, set us even with the state of Florida and put us just behind Texas in per-pupil expenditures,” said Rep. McCall. "Additionally it will put us ahead of Arkansas and Missouri and in a tie with Kansas for average teacher pay."

The Oklahoma Parental Choice Tax Credit Act could cost up to $300 million if every private and homeschool student’s families took advantage of the credit. McCall says it likely will not cost that much.

That would include up to $5,000 credits for private school students (per-student, per-year) and up to $2,500 credits for homeschool students (per-student, per-year).

These will also only be expensed for qualified purchases with receipts. Some of the qualified expenses include: tuition and fees, tutoring services, textbooks, curriculum or other instructional materials, and nationally standardized assessments. 

"The house's education plan provides for less government intrusion into local districts, and the personal lives and finances of Oklahomans,” said Rep. McCall.

McCall says the goal is to get increased funding to private, public and homeschools. 

"Good education policy should work everywhere in the state of Oklahoma."

This is the third education plan that’s been brought up in the Capitol this year- starting with the senate education agenda and following with State Superintendent Ryan Walter’s plan.

One key difference in the three plans is teacher pay raise. Walters’ plan called for a merit-based stipend. The senate’s plan called to raise the minimum teacher salary. The house called for a teacher pay raise of at least $2,500.

Many republicans also called for a voucher program, including Walters and Governor Stitt, but the house plan has no voucher program and neither does the senate plan.

While the plans are different, senate pro-tem Greg Treat says they all have the same goal - investing in Oklahoma’s children. 

"We're talking about the same things - but the details matter so we're going through that now,” said Treat.

Although Superintendent Walters' education plan has some key differences from what the house laid out today, he took to Twitter to share his support for HB 2775.

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