It’s true that Oklahoma school rankings have been consistently low for decades, while enduring a Democratic majority and during the 8 years Joy Hofmeister has been State Superintendent, but the Oklahoma Turnaround is here.
Since Governor Kevin Stitt took office in 2018, he has been committed to improving the education system in Oklahoma and giving teachers the recognition and benefits that they deserve. Governor Stitt has brought teachers pay and benefits to the top in the region and is committed to the continued improvement of Oklahoma’s education system. This includes holding schools accountable for their spending, and ensuring that transparency is maintained.
Education is no exception Governor Stitt’s Top Ten vision for the great state of Oklahoma.
- 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)