Most people, one hopes, appreciated the public efforts of my colleague Rob Sellers, the executive director of the Opportunity Scholarship Fund, to inform families seeking better school options for their children about available opportunities to apply for scholarships that enable children to attend a private school. These privately funded scholarships and the organizations that administer them (of which OSF is the state’s largest) were made possible by the Oklahoma Equal Opportunity Education Scholarship Act, which gives donors tax credits for funding the awards.
It turns out, though, that not everyone wants the good news to be spread. In a recently published opinion piece, a former schoolteacher and a member of an activist group that seeks more funding for public schools both rebuked Sellers for encouraging families whose public schools have not returned to the classroom to look into private schools that offer in-person instruction and lamented the existence of the Opportunity Scholarship program. Surely, no one could attack this program unless you believe either that private schools generally provide an inferior education or that remote learning at a public school is superior to in-person instruction at a private one.