Family Choice Act provides Control of Child’s Education

Mike Seals - February 2, 2021 11:27 am

OKLAHOMA CITY – Legislation to ensure families across Oklahoma have an opportunity to send their children to a successful public school was filed for the 58th Legislative Session.

The Family Choice Act, House Bill 1851, allows students to transfer from underperforming school districts to districts that are performing at a higher level.

“We hear all the time that people want school choice,” said the bill’s author, Rep. Andy Fugate, D-Del City. “But what we get instead is private vouchers masquerading as ‘choice.’ The Family Choice Act actually puts families in control by allowing them to choose schools that are performing better than the school that serves their district.”

The legislation would use the current A-F system to determine if a student would qualify for a transfer based on the school’s performance. If a student is in a school that is failing by the standards that the State Department of Education uses to evaluate schools, that student can transfer to the nearest school with an ‘A’ or  ‘B’ rating.

“The Family Choice Act leverages the state’s A-F Report Card,” Fugate said. “We collect this data, and now with this legislation, we can use it to provide families with more control over their child’s education.”

Similar legislation has been filed in the House by different members. The key difference between the bills is that Fugate’s bill funds both schools. It provides a financial incentive to the receiving school. But it also keeps money at the underperforming school – money to help the school improve due to the increased funding-to-student ratio.

“What we don’t want to do is take away resources from schools that are already desperate,”  Fugate said. “We don’t have to pick sides between parents and schools. This legislation allows for family choice and increased investment in underperforming schools.”

For more information contact the office of Rep. Andy Fugate (405) 557-7370 or email [email protected].


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