Thursday, March 03, 2022

OCPA praises committee passage of SB 1647, Treat's school choice bill

Senate Bill 1647 (Pro Tem Treat's Oklahoma Empowerment Account school choice bill) passed the Senate Appropriations Committee yesterday, in amended form, by a vote of 12 to 8 (roll call here).

I haven't fully read the bill or listened to the committee hearing, but it appears that homeschoolers can breath a sigh of relief, as the amended version does not include home educators in the program (read these articles for more on why the homeschool community opposed SB 1647).

OCPA statement on SB 1647 passage

OKLAHOMA CITY (March 2, 2022)— Jonathan Small, president of the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, issued the following statement today in response to passage of Senate Bill 1647 out of the Senate Appropriations Committee. SB 1647, by Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat, would create the Oklahoma Empowerment Account (OEA) Program. Under the program, most students across Oklahoma would be eligible for an OEA, which could be used to pay for a range of education services, including private-school tuition.

“SB 1647 would be the most significant expansion of school-choice opportunity for Oklahoma families in all parts of the state, particularly those currently trapped in low-performing schools due to economic circumstances,” Small said. “It also remains one of the most significant school-choice measures being considered in any state in the nation thanks to the strong leadership of people like Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat and Governor Kevin Stitt. As the bill winds its way through the Legislature, there may be tweaks made to the bill, but the end goal remains the same—to provide a lifeline and greater academic opportunity to as many Oklahoma children as possible. As passed today, SB 1647 still furthers that goal in a historic way.”

The Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs is a free-market think tank that works to advance principles and policies that support free enterprise, limited government, individual initiative and personal responsibility.


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