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Selected issues affecting public education may be highlighted. Union Public Schools does not intend to endorse political issues. Information provided here is for informational purposes only.
Oklahoma Education Funding
Oklahoma CUT public school funding 26.9% between 2008 and 2017 – the deepest in the nation, and GROWING. Meanwhile, the number of students statewide has increased
by an additional 51,039 students . . . served by 1,500 fewer teachers. (Source: Oklahoma Policy Institute)
Oklahoma has the 48th-lowest per pupil expenditures out of all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Download this file to read more about the state budget crisis facing Oklahoma.
The State Legislature has passed two laws that allow Oklahoma citizens’ tax dollars to pay the tuition (vouchers) for students on Individual Education Plans (IEPs) to attend private and religious schools. The ramifications of using tax dollars for vouchers are far reaching and could affect the quality of public education in Oklahoma. See news stories/archive
Updated Feb. 17, 2016: The Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled Tuesday, February 17, 2016, that state-funded private school scholarships for students with disabilities are constitutional.
The ruling came down in a taxpayer lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship Program for Children with Disabilities. Tulsa World story
The latest lawsuit began in October 2013, when a dozen Oklahomans from across the state sued in Oklahoma County to have the Henry law declared unconstitutional for violating the state constitution’s no-aid-to-religion clause. The plaintiffs were bipartisan and included a state senator, retired and current superintendents and teachers, parents of special-needs students, college professors and a retired judge.