Governor Stitt Signs ASPIRE Oklahoma, First of Its Kind Education Freedom Legislation and Record Investment in Oklahoma Education
Today, Governor Kevin Stitt was joined by students, parents, and school leaders from across the state to sign the ASPIRE Oklahoma Plan into law; a first-of-its-kind education freedom program and record funding in Oklahoma’s school system.
"Today is a historic day for the state of Oklahoma, and a huge win for students and parents all across the state. I am so proud that we were able to empower parents and deliver education freedom; so that every student has the opportunity to attend a school that best fits their needs, regardless of their background, economic status or zip code," said Governor Stitt. "With this plan, Oklahoma is also celebrating record funding in our education system; including giving our teachers a much-needed pay raise, investing in literacy programs, funding our rural schools, and securing Oklahoma classrooms."
The ASPIRE Plan encompasses several pieces of education legislation; including education freedom for parents in the form of a tax credit, and record investments in Oklahoma’s school system.
The Oklahoma Parental Choice Tax Credit Act, HB 1934, provides the following amount for parents who choose to send their child to a private or charter school outside of their zip code-assigned public school:
- $7,500 per student in households earning under $75,000 annually;
- $7,000 per student in households earning between $75,000 - $150,000 annually;
- $6,500 per student in households earning between $150,000 - $225,000 annually;
- $6,000 per student in households earning between $225,000 - $250,000 annually; and,
- $5,000 per student in households earning over $250,000 annually.
- HB 1934 also provides $1,000 per child for parents who choose to homeschool.
The funding portion is distributed throughout Oklahoma education in the following ways:
- $625 million recurring total investment into public education.
- $500 million directly into the education funding formula. This funding includes six weeks of paid maternity leave.
- Teacher pay raises of $3,000 for teachers with 0 to 4 years of experience, $4,000 for teachers with 5 to 9 years of experience, $5,000 for teachers with 10 to 15 years of experience, and $6,000 for teachers with 15 or more years of experience.
- An additional $10 million into a three-year literacy program to employ a literacy instructional team to support school districts.
- $125 million to the Redbud Fund, largely benefiting rural schools that don’t have the same ad valorem tax collection as others.
An additional $150 million into a three-year pilot program for school safety and security. This will provide every district with a school resource officer, or security upgrades depending on needs. For each year of the program, each public school district in the state will receive approximately $96,000.