For decades, Oklahoma’s public school system has ranked near last place for student outcomes.
In 2018, Kevin Stitt ran as a conservative businessman and a political outsider with a commitment to deliver a Turnaround in Oklahoma’s education system. Below are actions Governor Stitt has taken over the past three years:
- Called for the State’s first ever financial audit of the State Department of Education. Stitt also signed into law transparency legislation requiring school districts to post their audits on the front page of their websites. Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Joy Hofmeister, called the audit for fiscal transparency an “attack on education.” (source)
PUBLIC SCHOOL FUNDING
- Funded public education, Pre-K thru 12th grade, with State tax dollars at historically high levels for three consecutive years.
- Brought teacher pay and benefits to the top in our region. (source)
- Called for and passed a second teacher pay raise in three years to make their overall pay and benefits package competitive regionally. (source)
- Called for public school teachers to make 6-figure salaries, with a funding mechanism introduced by Stitt in 2022 that would designate State revenue to support local school districts in making this possible for their best teachers. (source, source)
- Called for and signed into the Redbud Act to designate surplus state revenue to rural and smaller schools as well as charter schools. (source)
- Enacted funding formula reform by making the money follow the student within the public education system and gave schools more flexibility in using carryover funding. (HB 2078)
- Called for and signed into law the open-transfer law, ensuring a child is not defined by their zip code in the public education system. This allows students to enroll in any public school that best meets their learning needs. (source)
- Enhanced choice for low-income families by expanding the Equal Opportunity Scholarship program from $5 million to $50 million. (SB 1080) (source, source)
- Stitt announced in 2022 that he would support any bills from the Legislature that would give parents and students more freedoms to attend the schools that best fit their learning needs. (source)