Oklahoma Education Leaders Pan Stitt's Idea To Use Federal Funds For Private School Scholarships

Apr 21, 2020

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt has drawn the ire of the state’s school leaders after floating an idea to use $40 million in block grants from the federal CARES Act to pay for private school scholarships.

From State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister to the President of the Oklahoma Education Association Alicia Priest, school leaders have panned Stitt's idea, which emerged after a discussion he had with U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos last week.

School advocates say there are bigger needs in Oklahoma.

In a video statement, Priest said in town hall meetings with teachers and school district leaders that voucher programs aren’t mentioned as a concern around the state.

"Do you know what has been mentioned? Broadband connectivity needs in rural areas, technology needs across the state, mental health services, protective equipment and cleaning supplies for schools," Priest said.

Hofmeister, the state’s top education official, told The Oklahoman that she would soon give Stitt a recommendation on how to use the funds that would not include paying for private school scholarships.