Monday, October 24, 2016

Nearly 4 in 10 Oklahoma teachers would choose private or home education for their own children

When asked what’s the best educational choice for their own children, one might expect near unanimity from teachers that a traditional public school is best. Not only for reasons of loyalty to one’s employer (Thunder employees don’t cheer for the Warriors), but because teachers are in the schools every day and have firsthand knowledge of school quality and safety. So it’s surprising—and perhaps somewhat telling—that nearly 4 in 10 teachers would choose a private school or homeschooling for their own children, according to a new SoonerPoll survey.

Oklahoma lawmakers should do what eight other states have done: enact an individual tax credit or deduction for approved educational expenses (including private school tuition and homeschooling). This would empower teachers—and indeed all Oklahoma parents—to make the best educational choice for their own children.

[UPDATE: Proposed legislation creating an individual tax credit cleared one legislative hurdle in 2019.]


Angela Owen said...

I'm a teacher and I wasn't polled on this. I question the validity of this survey. Who are the teachers who were polled? Every teacher I know has their child in a public school and supports public education.

Brandon Dutcher said... — a research firm used by The Oklahoman, Tulsa World, News 9, News on 6, and other clients — conducted the online survey of 458 Oklahoma teachers from September 29 to October 10, 2016. Respondents were selected at random among those with a teaching certificate in the state of Oklahoma. Teachers were identified by filtering out only teachers who were currently employed, retired, or looking for a teaching position in the state. The data were also filtered for those registered to vote and likely to vote in the November election. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 4.56 percent.

The same survey found deep frustration among teachers. For example, 72 percent have thought about leaving the state of Oklahoma and teaching in another state while 69 percent have thought about leaving the teaching profession altogether and starting a different career. Fully 81 percent have an unfavorable opinion of the state Legislature, and 79 percent have an unfavorable opinion of Gov. Mary Fallin. Do you question these survey results also? Why or why not?