TULSA, Okla. - Quick facts:
- Senate Bill 560 would set up a school voucher system in the Sooner State.
- The move would allow parents to use money for private school tuition instead of public education funds.
- Local school officials have spoken against the bill.
A state senate panel passed a bill that would set up a school voucher system, and it's getting backlash from school officials.
Senate Bill 560 would allow parents to use money that would otherwise go to public education for private school tuition.
Senator Rob Standridge (R-District 15) introduced the bill earlier this year.
School vouchers are subsidies given to parents for private school tuition.
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They have ben the subject of national debate since Pres. Donald Trump picked Betsy DeVos, a supporter of vouchers, to the position of education secretary.
Critics object to using vouchers in religious schools, saying that public money should not be used to fund religious activity. They also point to data that shows that in some cases voucher recipients were not underprivileged students from public schools but students who had already been attending private schools previously and that the voucher programs was essentially funding private schools with public money.
Tulsa Public Schools superintendent Deborah Gist took to Twitter to voice concerns about the bill Monday.
To consider a voucher bill in OK right now while underfunding our schools so badly is outrageous. Plus no accountability for tax $. #notokOK— Deborah Gist (@deborahgist) February 20, 2017
The bill will go before the full state senate.
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