The Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice

Advancing Milton and Rose D. Friedman's Vision of School Choice for All Children

Oklahoma - Oklahoma Equal Opportunity Education Scholarships

Enacted 2011 • Launched 2013 • Tax-Credit Scholarship

Oklahoma provides tax credits for donations to Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGOs), nonprofits that must spend a portion of their expenditures on private school scholarships for low-income students in an amount equal to or greater than the percentage of low-income students in the state. The allowable tax credit is 50 percent of the amount of contributions made during a taxable year, up to $1,000 for single individuals, $2,000 for married couples, and $100,000 for corporations. The program is capped at $5 million, of which $3.5 million is dedicated to private school scholarships with a separate $1.5 million in tax credits available for donations made to organizations that distribute “educational improvement grants” to public schools. Each donor category (individual and corporate) may use up to $1.75 million of the $3.5 million cap. If donations exceed the statewide cap in a given year, the Oklahoma Tax Commission will allocate the tax credits to individuals (or corporations) on a pro-rata basis. If individual donations fail to meet the $1.75 million cap while corporate donations exceed the cap, the unused individual credits can be allocated to corporations (and to a separate tax credit for public school improvement grants), and vice versa.

Latest Stats (2013-14)

  • Students participating: 467
  • Schools participating: 33
  • Scholarship organizations: 2
  • Average scholarship value: $270

Program Details

Student Funding
For students without an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), scholarships may be worth up to $5,000, or 80 percent of the average per-pupil expenditure in the assigned public school district, whichever is greater. For students with special needs who attended a public school with an IEP, the scholarship is worth up to $25,000.

Student Eligibility
Students are eligible if they either live in families with incomes up to 300 percent of the free and reducedprice lunch program ($130,704 for a family of four in 2013-14) or attend or live in the attendance zone of a public school designated as “in need of improvement.” Once a student has received a scholarship, that student and his or her siblings remain eligible until high school graduation or age 21.

Legal Developments
No legal challenges have been filed against the program.

Rules & Regulations
• Income Limit: 300 percent x FRL
• Prior Year Public School Requirement: None
• Geographic Limit: Statewide
• Enrollment Cap: None
• Scholarship Cap: Conditional
• Testing Mandates: None
• Credit Value: 50 percent
• Total Credit Cap: Yes
• Budget Cap: $3.5 million

Governing Statutes
Okla. Rev. Stat. § 68-2357.206

Friedman Contact
Doran Moreland | doran@edchoice.org

Related Research

10/30/2014 The School Starter Checklist: Meeting the Private Education Regulations in States with School Choice
5/30/2014 Public Rules on Private Schools: Measuring the Regulatory Impact of State Statutes and School Choice Programs
1/28/2014 Oklahoma K-12 and School Choice Survey
6/15/2011 The Fiscal Impact of Tax-Credit Scholarships in Oklahoma
7/21/2010 Reforms With Results: What Oklahoma can learn from Florida’s K-12 education revolution
7/21/2010 Reforms With Results: What Oklahoma can learn from Florida’s K-12 education revolution
6/30/2009 The Fiscal Impact of Tax-Credit Scholarships in Oklahoma

Related News

6/27/2014 Edmond Sun | Mixed success for educational choice in 2014 legislature
3/12/2014 National Review Online | Choosing to Learn
2/6/2014 Tulsa World | Education service accounts put parents in charge
1/28/2014 Oklahoma voters support educational options
1/23/2014 U.S. voucher, school choice enrollment reaches record high
8/15/2013 Sharing your story in “The ABCs” can be as easy as one, two, three
1/23/2013 “The ABCs of School Choice,” 2013 Edition, Now Available
9/30/2011 2011’s New School Choice Programs
8/3/2011 EducationNext | No Matter How You Ask the Question
7/5/2011 Wall Street Journal | The Year of School Choice

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