Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: May 5, 2011
Sen. Dan Newberry
Senate advances measure to provide scholarships to low income students
In a victory for school choice in Oklahoma, the state Senate today
approved legislation to broaden the number of private school scholarships
awarded to children from low-income households.
Senate Bill 969, the Oklahoma Equal Education Opportunity Scholarship
Act, will give businesses and individuals the opportunity to provide
low-income students with expanded educational opportunities.
“In order to give every student a chance to learn, we must
empower students and families with freedom of choice,” said
Newberry, R-Tulsa. “This legislation will encourage private
sector investment in the success of our low-income children, removing
barriers to achievement and helping children build better lives.
Expanding choice will create a more fertile climate for learning,
improving our education system.”
Under the provisions of SB 969, students meeting financial need
requirements or living in school districts identified for improvement
under No Child Left Behind will be eligible for scholarships. Businesses
and individual contributions will fund the scholarships and the
state will grant tax credits to those that contribute. Individuals
will receive a 50 percent annual credit for contributions up to
$1,000, $2,000 for married couples filing jointly, and a 50 percent
credit annually for corporations on contributions up to $100,000.
There is a limit placed on total annual contributions, totaling
Newberry noted the measure would increase the overall amount spent
on primary education while saving the state tax dollars.
“An increase in private investment in Oklahoma education
will help more children reach their potential,” Newberry said.
“In addition, students ineligible for the scholarship will
benefit from increased per-pupil funding, as districts experience
savings on students no longer enrolled. Having worked hard on this
legislation for two years, I look forward to seeing the measure
signed into law.”
Senate Bill 969 now advances to the Governor.
For more information, contact:
Sen. Newberry: (405) 521-5600