Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Will Oklahoma boost its school choice grade?

Today the Oklahoma House will take up SB 2093, the New Hope Scholarship Act, which passed the State Senate on March 13 by a vote of 33-15.

If the bill becomes law, Oklahoma will double its school choice grade. Last week, the Heartland Institute issued its school choice report card, grading each state on the availability of school vouchers, charter schools, tuition tax credits, tax credits for scholarship funds, and choice within the public school system.

Oklahoma qualifies for only 2 points out of a possible 23: We have open transfer, and we have charter schools, although they're severely limited. That's a failing grade, even when graded on the curve. Passing the New Hope Scholarship Act would earn Oklahoma two more points by establishing a scholarship fund tax credit in which corporations are welcome to participate.

Arizona and Florida top the school choice chart, earning 15 and 14 points respectively, because they offer vouchers, charters, and scholarship funds. Arizona gets full marks for its charter schools program.

Here's a link to the Heartland Institute's detailed report card (PDF).

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