Conservative Index Add
pagetitle

Saturday, May 26th, 2018Last Update: Wednesday, May 9th, 2018 06:18:06 AM

Education Savings Accounts Will Put Parents in Charge

By: Brandon Dutcher

In May, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed legislation creating the nation's fourth Education Savings Account (ESA) program, joining Mississippi, Florida, and Arizona.

In a new paper ("Designing an Education Savings Account for Oklahoma") published by the 1889 Institute, Vance H. Fried says it's time for Oklahoma to join the ESA family. Fried, an attorney and Certified Public Accountant who currently serves as Riata Professor of Entrepreneurship at Oklahoma State University, explains: "At the parent's direction, funds in their child's account would be used for educational materials, tutors, private school tuition, and other education-related services. Account funding would vary by student and be equal to 100 percent of state aid. This is a sufficient amount for an education using private schools and tutoring. Funding should come from existing sources at the state level. All students who are currently enrolled in Oklahoma public schools should be eligible. ESAs would give Oklahoma parents control over their child's education, provide the State with annual savings of $1,000 to $3,000 per participating student, and increase per-pupil funding at public schools."

As I never tire of repeating, it is parents -- not government officials -- who have the moral right to determine their child's path. If policymakers are going to spend $9,547 per student, they should fund the students, not the system.- Now some would have you believe that ESAs are unhelpful because Oklahoma's private schools are simply too expensive. But that is akin to telling someone who needs reliable transportation in order to get to and from work: "You might as well forget it. A Mercedes-Maybach would cost you $175,000, a convertible Corvette is more than $80,000, and even an Escalade could run you more than $70,000. You can't afford a vehicle."

In truth, the average private school tuition in Oklahoma is $4,521 for elementary schools and $6,897 for high schools, according to Private School Review.

As Fried points out, private school tuition varies dramatically by school. A few charge substantially more than the public schools spend per student, but most charge less, dramatically less in some cases. This is particularly true in the earlier grades. The cost gap between private schools and public schools is even more dramatic when one includes online schools. Fried proposes that ESA funding be set at 100 percent of state aid -- which is the base amount of $3,035, adjusted upward by hundreds or even thousands of dollars based on grade level and special student characteristics (low-income, bilingual, learning disabled, gifted, etc.). It's clear that ESAs will enable more Oklahoma parents to afford the best educational options for their children.

Other Stories From Summer 2015 Issue

Breaking down the Numbers of the Oklahoma Conservative Index

David Van Risseghem
Breaking down the Numbers of the Oklahoma Conservative IndexBy David Van RisseghemThe Oklaho...

The Rightful Ruler

John Michener
Will we look less redneck in the eyes of left-coast liberals? Will this give us a unique attraction...

Education Savings Accounts Will Put Parents in Charge

Brandon Dutcher
In May, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam signed legislation creating the nations fourth Education...

Cheerleaders Anonymous

Richard Engle
On Sunday, July 19th a front page story appeared in the Daily Oklahoman which detailed the...

Of Gumdrops and Devils Candy: the Fairy Tale Casting of Asset Forfeiture

Andrew K. Boyle
Tale as old as time, children out to pick rocks stumble upon a house made entirely of gingerbread...

Guns Are Here to Stay

David Deming
The Oklahoma Second Amendment Association created a bit of a brouhaha recently when they sued the...

Dont Let the Bill of Rights Fade Away

Sen. Kyle Loveless
Samuel Adams said that our fundamental rights include first, a right to life; secondly, to...

The Next Abandonment of Principle

Rep. Jason Murphey
The first warning sign happened last year on April 2nd of 2014. By a 20-3 vote, a legislative...

The Federal Page

Theodore King
The 2016 Republican Race for PresidentOn Monday evening February 1, 2016, Iowa residents will ...

Bad Ideas

Steve Byas
I cannot decide which idea, Jones or Holts is worse, but both are bad ideas. It is sort of...

Tidbits for Summer 2015

Constitution Staff
Oklahoma Democrat Party Convention Yukon attorney Mark Hammons was elected the new chairman o...

Letters to the Editor, Summer 2015

Constitution Staff
Book About the End of the USAWhile attending the 2015 convention of the Oklahoma Republican...

United States Supreme Court Rulings

Constitution Staff
The United States Supreme Court issued three significant opinions which impacted Oklahoma. Two of...

Oklahoma Supreme Court Orders Removal of Ten Commandments Monument

Constitution Staff
Oklahoma Republican Governor Mary Fallin says the Ten Commandments monument at the Capitol will...

In The News

Constitution Staff

Federal Offices on 2018 Ballot
The U.S. Congress is composed of two chambers. Senators serve six-year terms with only a third of...

Constitution Staff

State Offices Attract Candidates
In non-presidential election years, the governors office, a host of secondary statewide offices, and...

Constitution Staff

Candidates File for Oklahoma Legislature
The candidate filing period for the Oklahoma Legislature this year was April 11-13. Oklahomas...

Constitution Staff

Special Elections for Legislature Come to an End
After an election on March 6, Special Elections for the Oklahoma Legislature are now complete. The...

Constitution Staff

Gov. Fallin Signs Massive Tax Increase
On March 29, Governor Mary Fallin signed a tax increase package to fund a pay raise for state...

Constitution Columnists

Tony Lauinger

Abortion: There Is No Silver Bullet
The right to life is a God-given right, and the lives of unborn children should be protected by law....

Steve Byas

Christians and Government
When I read the words of the Apostle Paul, in Romans 13:1-5, penned under the inspiration of the...

Steve Byas

The Teacher Strike
It was called a walkout, or perhaps even a protest, but make no mistake about it, it was a strike....

© 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.