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Voucher Bill to be Heard Tomorrow

February 18, 2014

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m no fan of vouchers. Call them Education Savings Accounts, or anything else; all they do is take money from public schools and put them into private schools – with no accountability. Since you’ve already heard from me on this subject, here’s today’s notice from CCOSA:

EDUCATION ACTION ALERT – VOUCHERS (HB3398)

HB 3398 by Representative Jason Nelson (R-OKC) and Representative Tom Newell (R-Seminole) creates the Oklahoma Education Savings Account (ESA) Act.  If passed, Oklahoma would become the second state in the nation, behind Arizona, to have Education Savings Accounts.  ESA’s are accounts for eligible students to pay education expenses incurred through enrollment in a non-public school settings.  To be eligible, a student must commit to withdraw from enrollment in a public school in Oklahoma AND meet certain income requirements as set forth in the bill.

BILL HISTORY

HB 3398 will be heard by the House Appropriations and Budget Committee on Wednesday, February 19 at 4:30 p.m.

CALL TO ACTION

Please contact EVERY MEMBER of the House Appropriations Committee BEFORE 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 19th and ask committee members to VOTE NO ON HB 3398.

TALKING POINTS

  • Oklahoma’s public schools deserve the support of the Legislature so that they can continue to be the school of choice.
  • Taxpayers are not given the opportunity to opt out of publicly funded programs:
    • Ex. Most Oklahomans do not plan to go to prison yet our taxpayer dollars support the Department of Corrections.
      • Under the logic of HB 3398, those taxpayers not going to prison should get a refund of the portion of their taxes that are used to subsidize that “government run institution” because they are choosing not to go there.
  • Ex. Some Oklahomans will never visit a state park and/or recreation facility maintained by the State Department of Tourism.
    • Under the logic of HB 3398, Oklahoma taxpayers not using state parks and recreation facilities should receive a refund of the portion of their tax dollars that are used to support those parks and recreational facilities that the taxpayer does not use or enjoy.
    • HB 3398 has limited accountability mechanisms in place to ensure that taxpayer dollars used to pay for the private and/or homeschool education of students are not misused.
      • HB 3398 will result in the creation of additional bureaucratic positions to monitor the conduct of private citizens and private schools participating in the ESA program.
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  1. February 18, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    I emailed the appropriations committee today. Hope they ask Nelson good questions and not just pass it on. :/

    Like

  1. February 19, 2014 at 6:59 am
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