Senate education voucher bill squeaks through committee, faces long path to becoming law

A controversial bill to open educational savings accounts in Oklahoma removed its first legislative hurdle on Tuesday.

The 1647 Senate bill will give students more than $ 3,000, which they can spend on a range of educational programs, including scholarships to private schools, tutors and even home school supplies.

In the Senate Education Committee hearing hall, crowded with interested observers and the media, Senate protégé Greg Tritt answered a number of questions about his bill on savings savings accounts, which was advertised by Gov. Kevin Steet in his address to the state.

In almost two hours of questions and debates, Trit has repeatedly said that this measure gives parents more choice and responsibility for their children’s education.

Opponents say it will take money away from the already strained public school system, and several rural Republican senators have spoken out against it at committee hearings.

“Public money should remain in public schools,” said Senator J. J. Dasset of D-Owas, opposing the measure.

It was eventually approved by 8-7 votes in the Senate Education Committee.

He is now moving to the Senate Appropriations Committee before he can be heard by the full State Senate. If approved in this House, his future in the House of Representatives is even sadder.

Speaker of the House of Representatives Charles McCall said he did not expect to hear the measure in his House at this session. So it remains unclear whether the bill will become law.

This bill seems to have become one of the central policy debates in the state presidential race.

Steet made it clear that this measure is one of his top priorities at this session, and on Tuesday he praised the promotion of SB 1647.

“I support Oklahoma residents across the state, who are overwhelmingly supportive of empowering parents to choose the best education for their children, and I am pleased with today’s vote,” he said in a written statement.

His potential opponent in next fall’s general election – Democratic State Superintendent for Public Education Joy Hofmeister – praised the measure in a statement Tuesday afternoon.

“Lips. Stit’s voucher scheme is a killer village school that will destroy the funding of all children in public schools and negatively affect every public school student across the state, ”Hoffmeister said in a written statement. “Simply put, vouchers are wrong for Oklahoma children. Schools cannot provide the quality education our children deserve under Stew’s plan. “

Leave a Comment