Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat has filed legislation that would provide school-choice opportunities to all Oklahoma families, allowing parents to use state funds to pay for their children to attend any school, including private schools.
If signed into law, the program would be one of the most robust school-choice programs in the nation and make Oklahoma a national leader in educational opportunity.
“Every child deserves the chance for a quality education that fits their unique needs, regardless of their ZIP code,” said Treat, R-Oklahoma City. “We’ve already empowered the parents of children with disabilities with this opportunity through the very successful Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship program. It’s time we give all parents and all students in Oklahoma that same opportunity for success.”
Senate Bill 1647, by Treat, declares, “It is the intent of the Legislature that parents, legal guardians, and others with legal authority over children in this state be able to seek educational services that meet the needs of their individual children by directing education dollars to follow each child. The Legislature affirms that parents and legal guardians are best suited to make decisions to help children in this state reach their full potential and achieve a brighter future.”
SB 1647 would create the Oklahoma Empowerment Account (OEA) Program. Under the program, any student eligible to enroll in a public school would be eligible for an OEA, which could be used to pay for a range of education services, including private-school tuition.