Saturday, March 19, 2016

Preston Doerflinger speaks the truth on ESAs

"'Finance secretary backs away from criticism of GOP colleagues' (News, March 15) focused on supposed blowback to Preston Doerflinger's sharp criticism of lawmakers who refused to support legislation authorizing education savings accounts," Renee Porter writes in an excellent letter to the editor published today in The Oklahoman.
As the leader of a parent group supporting ESAs, I want to thank Doerflinger for speaking the truth and giving a voice to the majority of Oklahomans who polls show support these policies. 
Some of the parents I work with have children with special needs who are being left behind by their local public schools. Others want their child to have an education with a faith-based component but don't have the means to provide one. Some even fear for their child's safety at their current school and are desperately seeking alternatives. 
The current educational bureaucracy has taken away the power these parents should have to improve or even control their child's education and given it instead to government officials. Rather than challenge this failing status quo, state senators and representatives refused to even vote on the ESA measures that could have empowered parents and helped children. 
I'm disappointed and frustrated with our legislators, and saddened for parents and children the current system is failing. To those lawmakers and officials who have had the courage to do the same, including Doerflinger, I offer my sincerest thanks on behalf of the many families who would benefit from these much-needed reforms.

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