State Sen. Kenneth Corn is blasting an amendment that was narrowly approved by the full Senate on Thursday as devastating to public education, particularly in the state’s largest cities. The amendment would give tax credits for those donating money for scholarships to be used by families who want to remove their children from public school and enroll them in private institutions.
“We heard several people speak in support of this measure because they feel like public schools in Oklahoma City and Tulsa are broken,” said Corn, D-Poteau. “But cherry-picking a handful of students and pulling resources out of public education does nothing to fix the main problem, and too many children will be left behind.”
Corn said the money for the tax credits would have to be taken from the state’s general revenue fund, reducing the amount of money available for public education, further crippling troubled urban schools.
“Taking away a few students and reducing funding is not the answer,” Corn said. “Until you begin to address some of the real social issues that are keeping Oklahoma children from succeeding, including substance abuse, teen pregnancy and gangs, we’re just going to see the situation get even worse. When that happens, we’ll see increased costs in corrections, welfare and other publicly funded programs.”
The measure, contained in Senate Bill 2093, now moves to the House of Representatives.
“I would urge every parent, educator and all concerned citizens in our state to call their Representative and tell them they’re opposed to taking funding from public schools, and urge them to vote no on SB 2093,” Corn said.