Conservative Index Add
pagetitle

Tuesday, September 17th, 2019Last Update: Wednesday, August 7th, 2019 10:21:15 AM

What Type of School Would Oklahomans Select?

By: Brandon Dutcher

Leaders in the public-education community often point out (correctly) that the vast majority of Oklahoma students attend traditional public schools. Edmond school board member Meredith Exline, for example, put it this way: “Oklahomans have already made their ‘choice’ when it comes to education. More than 90 percent of parents have chosen public schools and are demanding they be properly funded.”

Of course, that’s like saying Americans in the 1970s decisively “chose” Ma Bell for telephone services, or like believing that subjects of the British Empire loved East India Company tea. But what do Oklahoma parents really want? What type of school would they select for their own children if financial costs and transportation were of no concern? According to a new statewide survey of 502 likely Oklahoma voters commissioned by Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA) and conducted by Cor Strategies (margin of error: plus/minus 4.37 percent), roughly half of Oklahomans would choose a traditional public school. And roughly half would make other choices.

Question 1

“If you could select any type of school in order to obtain the best education for your child, what type of school would you select?”

Traditional public school 57%

Charter schoo1 9%

Private or parochial school 24%

Home school 10%

Question 2

“If you could select any type of school for your child, and financial costs and transportation were of no concern, what type of school would you select?”

Traditional public school 49%

Charter school 8%

Private or parochial school 36%

Home school 8%

The demand for options is strong. Leaders in the public education community know this better than anyone. These educators fear what will happen if parents are empowered to vote with their feet – and they use surprisingly apocalyptic language to describe it. Former Tulsa superintendent Keith Ballard, for example, says education savings accounts (ESAs) would have “a disastrous effect on public schools.” Former Norman superintendent Joe Siano says ESA legislation “will harm our public schools beyond the point of no return.” Former Sand Springs administrator Rob Miller says ESAs would deal a “mortal blow” to public education and do “irreparable harm to our nation.”

Not exactly a vote of confidence in their own product. As Isabel Paterson asked 75 years ago, “Do you think nobody would willingly entrust his children to you to pay you for teaching them? Why do you have to extort your fees and collect your pupils by compulsion?”

It’s not difficult to get 90 percent of parents to “choose” public schools when you’ve got the tax collector on your side. But as these survey results make clear, parents want more than one choice.

About Brandon Dutcher

Dutcher is Senior Vice President at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs (OCPA) http://www.ocpathink.org/, which was founded in 1993 as a public policy research organization focused primarily on state-level issues. His award-winning articles have appeared in 200 newspapers throughout Oklahoma and the U.S. He can be contacted at: Brandon@ocpathink.org, at: twitter.com/brandondutcher or facebook.com/brandondutcher

Other Articles By Brandon Dutcher

What Type of School Would Oklahomans Select?

Leaders in the public-education community often point out (correctly) that the vast majority of...

New OU President Gallogly: We will not have waste on campus.

James Gallogly has been selected as the next president of the University of Oklahoma. Oklahoma...

The Higher Ed Defunding Thats Yet to Come?

Theres been much hand-wringing lately among some higher-education officials and journalists (to...

Bartlesville School Board Looks Out for Taxpayers

In June, the Bartlesville school board voted unanimously to outsource the schools janitorial...

Oklahomans Say Teachers Should Be Allowed to Vote on Unions

Getting public policy right in the area of education includes respecting teachers and freeing...

Nearly 4 in 10 Oklahoma Teachers Would Choose Private or Home Schooling for Their Own Children

When asked whats the best educational choice for their own children, one might expect near...

Oklahomans (still) Support Parental Choice in Education

An honest reading of the public-opinion survey data over the past couple of years shows that...

Other Constitution Columnists

Theodore King

The Federal Page for Summer 2019
Equality Act of 2019Elections have consequences. The midterms last fall brought Democrats into...

Tim Bakamjian

Hamilton Is Coming, But Im Not Going
Hamilton the smash-hit Broadway musical is coming to Oklahoma. A whopping 48 shows are scheduled...

Steve Byas

The Lesson of David Boren
I remember when David Boren first emerged on the political scene in Oklahoma, running a long-shot...

Linda Murphy

Oklahoma Citys LGBTQ+ Pride Alliance and K-12 Grade Students Curriculum
On June 19, the Oklahoma Gazette published their weekly edition with a beautiful rainbow on the...

John Michener

Governor Stitt, Repent With Us
Repentance: a complete change of direction that involves a conscious turning away from attitudes,...

David Deming

Why an OU Presidency Failed
David Boren was a hard act to follow. But James Galloglys appointment as President of the University...

In The News

Constitution Staff

Fiscal Year Gross Receipts to the State Treasury
Gross Receipts to the Treasury for both the month of June and Fiscal Year 2019 indicate ongoing...

Constitution Staff

EPIC Charter Schools Under Attack
This summer there was great attention focused on EPIC Charter Schools in Oklahoma. The mostly online...

Constitution Staff

Signature Gathering on Medicaid Initiative Petition Begins
On July 31, Oklahomans Decide Healthcare began gathering signatures on an initiative petition to...

Constitution Staff

Oklahoma Legislature Vote to Diminish Columbus
Senate Bill 111, passed by the Oklahoma Legislature and was signed by the governor, is a great...

Constitution Staff

Legislators Rated
The Oklahoma Constitution presents the 41st annual Oklahoma Conservative Index, rating our state...

Constitution Columnists

Theodore King

The Federal Page for Summer 2019
Equality Act of 2019Elections have consequences. The midterms last fall brought Democrats into...

Tim Bakamjian

Hamilton Is Coming, But Im Not Going
Hamilton the smash-hit Broadway musical is coming to Oklahoma. A whopping 48 shows are scheduled...

Steve Byas

The Lesson of David Boren
I remember when David Boren first emerged on the political scene in Oklahoma, running a long-shot...

© 2001 - 2009 The Oklahoma Constitution, all rights reserved.
Contact the Oklahoma Constitution by calling 405-366-1125 or emailing okconsti@aol.com
Content Management System (CMS) provided by WebTeks CMS.