Tomorrow in the Senate Education Committee, SB386 (http://webserver1.lsb.state.ok.us/.../SB/SB386%20INT.PDF) will be heard.
From the bill:
page 2 line 14 D. The Digital Wallet Program shall be administered by the Governor or his or her designee to provide funds directly to parents for educational supplies, tutoring, technology needs or other educational expenses. THIS BILL NEVER SAYS WHERE THE MONEY WILL COME FROM. WHAT MONEY? FROM WHAT SOURCE?
We are very concerned that this will be used as a way to distribute voucher monies. OCPA says the following: "Among the 30 states that have adopted private school-choice programs, five are using a new kind of school choice called Education Savings Accounts (ESAs). Oklahoma doesn’t have this kind of choice yet—but it almost does! The state already has two private-choice programs, but the superior value of ESAs and the potential to extend choice to all students make a little-known Oklahoma program well worth looking at." https://www.ocpathink.org/.../oklahoma-needs-a-bigger-wallet
ESA's use money from government coffers not tax credits.
So, let's put on our tin foil hats here...ROPE has written a great deal about the amount of data collected on children in public schools (https://reclaimoklahomaparentempowerment.blogspot.com).... Currently, private schools do not have to submit data to the federal government if they do not wish to and HOMESCHOOLERS DO NOT SUBMIT ANY.
We spoke to Senator Marty Quinn - the author of the bill - about our reservations and asked him not to run the bill. He told us it was from last year, it wasn't his and he had no plans to run it this session.
Representative Ryan Martinez has a similar bill in the house HB3482 (https://legiscan.com/OK/bill/HB3482/2022). We spoke with him as well for the same reasons. It has now been activated and has been moved to the A&B Committee. Please email Representative Martinez and ask him not to move his bill - the language is the same as the Senate Bill (email@example.com).
Please contact the Senate Education Committee and ask them to vote NO on this bill for the reasons we've listed.
Please check out www.ROPE2.org for more information including information on social credit scores or ESGs.