An educator and parent in Oklahoma writes here about the legislative effort to install vouchers in Oklahoma. As the previous post argued, the effect and intention of this movement is to destroy public education. No voucher proposal has ever been approved by voters in any state. As legislature maneuvering continues, the bill may not get out of committee. But that is not certain.

 

 

He writes:

 
“Our Oklahoma legislature just passed House Joint Resolution 1062. http://www.oklegislature.gov/BillInfo.aspx?Bill=hjr1062

 
This bill will put on the State Ballot a question that will ask to repeal Article 5 Section II of the Oklahoma Constitution.

 

“Section II-5: Public money or property – Use for sectarian purposes.

 

“No public money or property shall ever be appropriated, applied, donated, or used, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, or system of religion, or for the use, benefit, or support of any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher or dignitary, or sectarian institution as such.
http://oklegal.onenet.net/okcon/II-5.html

 

“This section is known as the Blaine Amendment.

 

“Back in June, the state Supreme Court decided that the religious display on public property violated the OK State Constitution. http://www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=476438

 

“While the authors claim they want this amendment passed to allow the 10 commandments monument to be placed back at the State Capitol, others believe it is being passed in lockstep with other legislation bills in front of both chambers regarding Education Savings Accounts (Vouchers).

 

“HB2949 http://www.oklegislature.gov/BillInfo.aspx?Bill=HB2949 The bill establishes a school voucher program for students beginning in the 2016-2017 school year.

 

“SB609 http://www.oklegislature.gov/BillInfo.aspx?Bill=SB609 There is hereby created the Oklahoma Education Empowerment Scholarship Savings Program to be administered by the Office of the State Treasurer to provide an education empowerment scholarship savings card for qualified expenditures to support the education of qualified students in this state.

 

“Our State is truly under attack from all sides regarding vouchers, regardless of the recent research that these programs are having a negative impact on student achievement in other states and districts.