Saturday, March 26, 2022

Allegations against Okay teacher turned over to FBI

"Federal law enforcement officials said they were 'actively working' Thursday to gather information about a former Okay High School teacher accused of surreptitiously capturing images of an underage girl preparing to shower at his home," CNHI News reports.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Still moving in the right direction

[UPDATE: This post was updated on May 25, 2023.]

I joined the OCPA board in 1994 then left to join the staff in 1995. For nearly three decades now, I’ve been making the case in numerous publications and public forums that every parent should be empowered to take their child’s per-student spending to the school of their choice.

Fifteen years ago, before Oklahoma had any private-school choice programs, The Oklahoman asked me for a column on what I thought education in Oklahoma would look like in 25 years. My answer: “I don't know. The God of history—‘Divine Providence,’ in the words of the signers of the Declaration—stands outside of history and directs it without consulting me.” But with that caveat in place, I went on to explain why I thought Oklahoma would increasingly embrace parental choice in education.

“We should seek to restore the American tradition of educational freedom and consumer choice, a tradition that predates and lasted longer than our current practice of delivering education through a monopoly,” I wrote. “There’s good reason to believe we’ll move in that direction in the next 25 years.”

And indeed we have. Oklahoma now has two private-school scholarship programs, and most Oklahoma students are eligible to apply. We still have a long way to go—an Oklahoma Empowerment Account for any parent who wants one (still a possibility for 2022)—but it’s pretty clear to me that the momentum is on our side. Indeed, the destructive trends we’re seeing in the government’s system leave me more optimistic than ever that policymakers will eventually get it right.

Having lived through the history represented in the table below, I am unfazed by any one roll call in any one legislative chamber in any one year. In public policy, longtime Heritage Foundation president Ed Feulner likes to say, “there are no permanent victories or permanent defeats, just permanent battles.” Year after year, the goal remains the same: We win, and they lose.


Major Private-School Choice Victories in Oklahoma


















Created a private-school voucher program for special-needs students


Created a private-school tax-credit scholarship program







Expanded voucher eligibility to foster children and children adopted out of state custody





Raised the tax-credit cap for private-school scholarships to $25 million



Enacted universal school choice.



Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Oklahoma Constitution supports school choice

"Claims that the Oklahoma Constitution prohibits or even disfavors school choice are simply incorrect," Trent England writes. "The Constitution anticipates that there will be many forms of education and supports them by including them in the attendance requirement. While the Legislature must provide for free public schools, that is just the beginning. Lawmakers are free to go beyond that system in pursuit of the mission of creating an educated public."

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Moral insanity in Stillwater

"I know for a fact that today, at Stillwater Public Schools, there were girls who made a conscious decision when they woke up not to drink water, and not to drink water all day long until they got out of school, so they would not be forced to use a shared bathroom space," one Stillwater father says.

Woke teachers continue to out themselves

"In recent public comments, self-identified educators from across Oklahoma have vocally objected to a new law that bans teaching certain concepts broadly associated with Critical Race Theory (CRT)," Ray Carter reports. As one teacher put it, "teachers and parents of color have no intention of continuing to be lied to and turned out to die in classrooms of people who protect historic racism."

Duncan teacher says schools should be more 'woke'

"The administrator of a Facebook group whose supposed goal is to 'unite all educators, parents, and advocates for education' has declared Oklahoma schools need to be more 'woke,' attacked parents concerned about graphic portrayals of rape and incest in school library materials as 'extremists,' repeatedly declared conservatives are racist, and more," Ray Carter reports.

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

The solution to groomer schools? Parent choice

"Traditionalists are right that the government school system has proven that it can’t be trusted," Greg Forster observes. "That’s precisely why they’re wrong to think they can take control of it. The best way to cope with the challenge of sexualized schools is to put parents back in charge by letting them take the public funding that supports their children’s education to the school of their choice."