The House passed two bills that will increase public education funding and give parents more choice.
House Bill 2775 would increase public school funding by $500 million for Fiscal Year 2024. The amount would be used to pay teachers an additional $2,500; would grant $50 million to be distributed among schools receiving below-average funding from annual local tax revenue; and $300 million to be distributed to public school districts on a per-pupil basis.
House Bill 1935 would offers refundable tax credits to parents of students not participating in public education, in amounts of $5,000 per child for private school attendance and $2,500 for homeschool attendance.
Under this plan, school districts that serve constituents in our House District 38 would receive an additional $18.7 million for the next school year based on current student counts.
The breakdown for schools in Logan County:
- Cashion: $468,217.49
- Crescent: $595,477.50
- Guthrie: $2,683,583.93
- Mulhall-Orlando: $243,669.56
This legislation has something for everyone with a stake in public education. First, it funds the student, as education dollars should. Most students are served well by their local district, and this ensures that if they stay in the public school system, the district will get more funding to support their learning in the classroom. If a parent decides, however, that their child’s needs would be better met in another setting, they could apply for a tax credit to reimburse them for tuition and fees at a private school or for specific instructional materials and other approved expenses should they choose to homeschool.
The goal is for students to graduate being able to read and do math and other subject work at the appropriate grade level. For too long, Oklahoma’s college remediation rate has hovered at more than 40%. This means students have to take remedial course work that earn them no credit and cost money before they can actually take college coursework. Students also have a hard time going straight into the workforce without the need for additional training or certifications.
Being the son of public school educators, there is no bigger fan of public schools than me. But I and many of my colleagues in the House have heard from parents across the state who want more freedom in choosing the school that best meets their child’s need.
This plan grants that freedom while still adding dollars to our local public schools. Some call that a win for everyone.
The full text of each bill and bill summaries can be read by conducting a basic bill search under the top banner Legislation & Laws on our House website: https://www.okhouse.gov/.