MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Fort Gibson

April 22, 2008

About Your School: Superintendent calls bill an attack on public schools

Everyone knows that education must continually improve and change. Everyone also knows that the United States has become powerful by attempting to educate all kids with an equal education. I am writing this article to make people aware of a bill at our state Legislature that will open the door to taxpayer dollars being siphoned to private schools.

Senate Bill 2093, the so called “New Hope Scholarship Program,” is an all-out attack mode on public education. The measure would give a 50 percent tax credit to individuals who donate to a fund providing private school scholarships. This tax credit would be on top of any charitable tax deductions donors already receive.

The Oklahoma bill creates a voucher system that would take public dollars and transfer them through the use of tax credits to private schools. The end result is still fewer resources left for those students who remain in public schools.

In the past three or four years, the Legislature has given more than $700 million to the wealthy in tax cuts. That, in a time when, education, roads and bridges, prisons and the Department of Human Services are all underfunded. This voucher credit is another tax cut for the wealthy.

As of April 16, schools do not have a budget allocation for next year, even though the law gives April 1st as the deadline for this to occur. What’s even worse is that after two years of record collections for the state, schools have not been funded for the current year in the amount promised last session.

No doubt, public schools have room to improve, but they are certainly not as bad as the those who promote vouchers want to indicate. Our public schools are required to teach all children. That’s the rich, poor, those with special needs, and those with language barriers. Private schools have the luxury of selecting the privileged few. If the Legislature would fund schools properly (just meet the regional average for per pupil expenses) and eliminate the unfunded mandates, improvement will occur.

Text Only
Fort Gibson
AP Video
Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 U.N. School in Gaza Hit by Israeli Strike Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Officials Warn of Avoidable Death in Hot Cars Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' House Committee at Odds Over Obama Lawsuit Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record
Poll

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

Yes
No
     View Results
Featured Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks