The Oklahoma Equal Opportunity Education Scholarships program was enacted in 2011 and launched in 2013. The program gives individuals and businesses a 50 percent tax credit for contributions made to nonprofit organizations that provide school scholarships to students who meet the income and/or zoning requirements. Learn more about the program, including funding, eligibility, and regulations, on this page.
904 participating students (2015–16)
79 percent of families with children income-eligible statewide
3 scholarship organizations awarding scholarships (2015–16)
52 participating schools (2015–16)
Average scholarship value: $1,129 (2015–16)
Value as a percentage of public school per-student spending: 12 percent
Oklahoma offers tax credits for donations to Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGOs), nonprofits that provide private school scholarships.
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.
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, now including S-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. Any taxpayer who makes a written commitment to contribute the same amount to an SGO for two consecutive years shall have their credit worth 75 percent of their total contribution, as opposed to 50 percent for a single year.
Students are eligible if they either live in families with incomes up to 300 percent of the free and reduced-price lunch program ($134,589 for a family of four in 2015–16) 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.
Okla. Rev. Stat. § 68-2357.206
No legal challenges have been filed against the program.