Take Action on the 2023 Alerts Below!
We’ll keep you updated with timely information concerning your rights. We will post any information about home education during the Oklahoma legislative session.
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2023 Legislative Session – Bills To Watch
Special Note – HSOK members have alerted us to House Bill 1935 (The Oklahoma Parental Choice Tax Credit Act) and House Bill 2775 (an education appropriations act). HSOK is presently reviewing these bills to determine their impact on home education.
Senate Bill 822- Oklahoma Education Freedom Act and Oklahoma Education Freedom Account Program
Homeschool Oklahoma OPPOSES SB822. The Oklahoma Education Freedom Act and Oklahoma Education Freedom Account Program appear beneficial to homeschooling families. But it will eventually have strings attached to it because it provides government money for private education. Those strings have included curriculum restrictions, mandatory testing, complicated record-keeping, state registration, or inspection in other states. While participation in this program looks optional, this bill brings Oklahoma one step closer to the loss of freedom for home educators.
You may think, “great, then don’t sign up for the funding.” But our concern goes further than just not signing up for state assistance. The state must account for how parents spend the money, so rules and regulations will be added. So, we are concerned about what those regulations will be and how they will impact traditional (constitutional) homeschooling families. Traditional, family-funded homeschools do not want to be grouped in with the other types of homeschooling options when these regulations are applied.
The wording in SB822 must distinguish traditional or constitutional homeschooling families from other forms of education that happen at home (i.e., EPIC, K12, Oklahoma Academy, and virtual public school). This change in the wording of SB 822 would better protect traditional/constitutional homeschooling families from future regulations and preserve our Oklahoma freedom to homeschool. Families move here to homeschool their children because of the freedom we have from regulations. We have freedom from regulations because we fund our own homeschools. A homeschool that takes money from the state becomes a state-funded public school. If a traditional/constitutional homeschooling family takes government funding to pay for their educational expenses, they become a type of public school.
Senate Bill 943- Oklahoma Parent Empowerment Act for Kids
Homeschool Oklahoma OPPOSES SB 943. This bill would have the same impact as SB822, and the difference in this bill is that it targets schools in large populations with a few exceptions. Again, we are concerned about the regulations that would come if this bill is passed. As written, traditional/constitutional family-funded homeschools are grouped into laws with other types of education.
House Bill 1771- Student Extracurricular Activities Bill
Homeschool Oklahoma OPPOSES HB1771. This bill is argued to be good for rural families who can’t get to a homeschool co-op or support group. But again, regulations will be implemented because state funds are involved. A possible requirement could be enrolling the student in a public school for anywhere from an hour a week up to a semester. If the bill is passed, the family may have to agree to the rules pertaining to vaccinations and other regulations. Again, this is one step closer to allowing more restrictions on traditional (constitutional) homeschooling families.
Senate Bill 1083: Income Tax Credit for School Choice or Homeschool Expenditures
Homeschool Oklahoma APPROVES SB 1083. This bill creates a tax credit of up to $2,500 from your Oklahoma income taxes for various educational expenses for any school-age child. In addition to claiming tuition and fees for attending a private school, a parent could also claim a tax credit for textbooks, computer equipment, software, online instruction, and the cost of participating in athletics, musical groups, clubs, or other similar activities. While the cost of tutoring or additional direct teaching of a child could also be claimed, a parent would not receive a tax credit if a close relative provided that instruction. This tax credit is not refundable but could be carried over for up two years. In addition, the Oklahoma Tax Commission is authorized under the bill to require the taxpayer to submit copies of the receipts of their educational expenses to claim the tax credit. HSOK supports this bill because taxpayers keeping the money they already have via a tax credit has different implications than homeschools receiving funding from a government entity.
Contact your state legislators by phone and email to share your opposition or approval of these bills. If you don’t know who they are, find out here! Politely tell them what you oppose or approve, and concisely include why you feel that way.