Policies expand opportunity, pave the way for more choice in the future
INDIANAPOLIS—EdChoice, a national nonprofit organization that promotes state-based educational choice programs, congratulates Oklahoma for modernizing their K-12 student funding formula and enacting an open enrollment law that will provide more public school choice for families.
Gov. Kevin Stitt signed the legislation earlier this week. EdChoice has provided fiscal and legal analysis to Oklahoma policymakers.
“This is a great day for Oklahoma,” said Dr. Martin Lueken, who leads the EdChoice Fiscal Research and Education Center. “The passage of these bills represents a much-needed step for the state to make its K-12 system work better for all families. Strengthening the link between funding and students will improve transparency and equity while weakening the link between the education students receive and their ZIP codes—all of which will improve educational opportunities for many of Oklahoma’s children.”
Leslie Hiner, who heads the EdChoice Legal Defense and Education Center, commended Oklahoma families for their “relentless drive to help children find and access education that fits the learning needs of each child.”
The new open enrollment law will expand public school options across the state. Oklahoma also has two private school choice programs: In 2010, lawmakers created the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship, a voucher for children with special needs, followed by the Equal Opportunity tax credit scholarship program in 2011.
“Allowing families to choose a public school other than their assigned school, without being forced to move, just makes sense and will help kids who need that choice,” Hiner said, adding that “intentionally funding students places the state’s education funding priority where it should be—with each and every child.”
House Bill 2078 modernizes the education funding formula by basing per-pupil funding on the most recent enrollment data. The previous system gave school districts multiple enrollment figures from which to base their funding, causing some districts to receive state funds for students who are no longer enrolled.
Senate Bill 783 amends the Education Open Transfer Act to allow students the ability to transfer to another school district at any time, provided the district has space available.
ABOUT THE FISCAL RESEARCH AND EDUCATION CENTER
Launched at the end of 2020, the EdChoice Fiscal Research and Education Center (FREC) oversees fiscal publications and databases of information related to school staffing, school funding and the fiscal effects of school choice. FREC works with state and national partners to help audiences understand the fiscal effects of educational choice programs.
ABOUT THE LEGAL DEFENSE AND EDUCATION CENTER
Formally established in 2018, the Legal Defense and Education Center (LDEC) built on EdChoice’s history of providing legal expertise to policymakers, media outlets and the legal community. LDEC works in partnership with state and national allies to identify and remove legal barriers to universal school choice and provide ongoing legal assistance to the school choice movement.