Students in Oklahoma finally get a big win! Thanks to the passage of HB 1934, thousands of Oklahoma parents will have the freedom to decide which school they want their children to attend. The new law will provide a $7,500 tax credit per eligible student per year for families making less than $75,000. For families making more than $250,000 the tax credit is worth $5,000. Income tiers in between these two amounts determine the graduated credit.
The hallmarks of democracy and capitalism have always included the freedom to spend your hard-earned money as you see fit for the benefit of yourself and your family. Most of our world-leading economy has prospered mightily from this aspect of liberty, except for public schools where geography has determined school attendance, and parents have no real say in which school they want for their child.
The results of government-run education have become catastrophic. As our research recently illustrated, only 21% of Oklahoma eighth graders are proficient in reading. But the tide of freedom swells anew in Oklahoma as school choice becomes a reality. And just as we also wrote recently, school choice WILL NOT negatively affect school funding.
Other parts of the historic education package led by our friends Senators Adam Pugh and Dwayne Pemberton are increasing the K-12 appropriation by 19% for an increase of $620 million to fund significant teacher pay raises, enhanced security systems, reading programs, and increased pay for support staff.
We have a lot of work to do to make sure our kids are properly prepared for the workforce, and there is a lot of catching up to do. Parents make all the difference, however, and we are grateful to state leaders for giving them the freedom to help thousands of our kids and grandkids.