2017 PPI Score
School Choice Score: 72%
The Oklahoma Equal Opportunity Education Scholarships program was enacted in 2011 and began in 2013. The program allows individuals and businesses a 50 percent tax credit for contributions made to nonprofit organizations that provide school scholarships to students who meet the income and zoning requirements.
Oklahoma’s Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarships for Students with Disabilities provides students with special needs vouchers to attend a private school of their parents’ choice. The program was enacted in 2010. Students must have an Individualized Education Plan or an individualized service plan to participate.
Charter Schools Score: 78%
Oklahoma earns a C in this round of rankings. Provisions for multiple authorizers, including universities, school districts, the state Board of Education, and some Native American tribes, as well as strong teacher protections earn the state points. However, the statute severely limits where authorizers can operate and does not provide equitable facilities funding.
- Fast Facts
- Law Passed: 1999
- Number of Charters: 32
- Estimated Charter Enrollment: 22,300 (up 11.5 percent from 2015-16)
- There is a cap of five new charter schools per year in each county and no more than one per school district outside of large urban areas
- Online Charter Schools are allowed
- Charters can contract with EMOs and CMOs for management purposes
- Oklahoma has one of the strongest charter school pre-k programs in the country
- A study by the university of Arkansas concluded that there was a 31 percent funding disparity between charter and districts schools in Tulsa
- Oklahoma scores 8 out of 15 points for “authorizing” because the law allows for multiple entities to authorize charter schools including universities, school districts, the state Board of Education and various Native American tribes. However, universities can only authorize schools in cities with populations of more than 500,000. The law also limites non-district authorizing in communities with populations less than 500,000 (only up to five per year and no more than one per district per year). These limitations affect the quality of authorizing especially in small communities, because it limits authorizing to school districts. Additionally, the first time a charter application is denied by an authorizer, prospective operators have no recourse (arbitration is permitted after a second denial). This policy limits the types of schools that can be authorized.
- Oklahoma scores an 8 out of 15 for “growth” because the law places artificial limits on growth in less populated communities. These limits are evident in the relatively rapid growth in the number of charter school seats available but slow growth in the number of charters that are opening to meet demand.
- Oklahoma earns 15 of 20 points for “operations.” The law provides charters a blanket waiver from many state regulations that affect district schools, but charter schools are heavily dependent on school districts for funding and support, which makes them subject to regulation from districts.
Oklahoma earns 7 out of 15 for “funding equity.” Charters receive funds from the same state aid funding formula that provides for district schools. However, Oklahoma law sets no requirements for local funding, so large inequities are often present between districts and charters. Authorizers may deduct up to five percent administrative fees from each charter school’s state aid allocation, which negatively impacts schools. Oklahoma charters do not receive per-pupil facilities funding.
Online Learning Score: 78%
During the 2012-2013 school year, the Oklahoma Statewide Virtual Charter School Board became the sole authorizer for new statewide virtual charter schools. Existing schools will fall under the board on July 1, 2014, and all districts will be prohibited from offering out-of-district full time virtual education, though they may offer full time virtual education to students within their boundaries.
Teacher Quality Score: 82%
Delivering Well Prepared Teachers C+
Expanding the Pool of Teachers C-
Identifying Effective Teachers C+
Retaining Effective Teachers B-
Exiting Ineffective Teachers A-