Conservative Index Add
pagetitle

Tuesday, February 18th, 2020Last Update: Tuesday, February 11th, 2020 09:38:01 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

John Michener

Equal Justice Demands passage of the Abolition of Abortion in Oklahoma Act
The natural law of God which says that we shall not murder innocent human beings transcends...

Bill Graves

Judge Balkman Right in Not Ordering a Jury Trial In Opioid Case
The Oklahoma Constitution newspaper in its Fall, 2019 edition took Judge Thad Balkman to task for a...

Shane Smith

Oklahomans Deserve the Full Story Surrounding Vaccine Safety and Effectiveness
Oklahomans Deserve the Full Story Surrounding Vaccine Safety and EffectivenessThere are serious...

Linda Murphy

ACT Test is Common Core
Since the 2015-2016 school year, Oklahoma public high school students have been taking ACT tests...

Tim Bakamjian

Rating Oklahomas Members of the U.S. House
The 116th U.S. Congressional Session is more than halfway complete, having begun in January, 2019....

Charlie Meadows

Governor Stitt One Year after He Took Office, the Good and the Bad
People that know I am involved in politics and government continually ask my opinion about the job...

Theodore King

The Federal Page for Winter 2020
An Impeachment MemoryOn Saturday, December 19, 1998 the House of Representatives impeached President...

Steve Byas

Oklahoma Economy in Hands of State Supreme Court
The decision for the state of Oklahoma in its opioid nuisance lawsuit against drug manufacturer...

Ron McWhirter

From the General Manager
From the General ManagerLooks like there is well over a dimes worth of difference between the two...

In The News

Constitution Staff

Gross Receipts Indicate Economic Expansion Slowing
Oklahoma Gross Receipts to the Treasury for calendar year 2019 paint the picture of a sound, but...

Constitution Staff

Status of Petitions Filed to Place State Questions on Ballot
A numbers of petitions to secure a place on the Oklahoma ballot in 2020 have been filed with the...

Constitution Staff

Oklahoma Presidential Primary Election
Oklahoma is among 14 states holding Presidential Primary Elections on March 3, 2020 in what is known...

Constitution Staff

Legislature Completes Bill Filing
On January 16, the two chambers of the Oklahoma Legislature completed bill filing for the second...

Constitution Columnists

John Michener

Equal Justice Demands passage of the Abolition of Abortion in Oklahoma Act
The natural law of God which says that we shall not murder innocent human beings transcends...

Bill Graves

Judge Balkman Right in Not Ordering a Jury Trial In Opioid Case
The Oklahoma Constitution newspaper in its Fall, 2019 edition took Judge Thad Balkman to task for a...

Shane Smith

Oklahomans Deserve the Full Story Surrounding Vaccine Safety and Effectiveness
Oklahomans Deserve the Full Story Surrounding Vaccine Safety and EffectivenessThere are serious...

© 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.