Oklahoma Senate narrowly defeats school voucher proposal

March 24, 2022 GMT

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Senate narrowly defeated a voucher bill that would allow public funds to be used to pay for a student’s private-school education.

In a late-night session on Thursday, senators voted 24-22 against the bill by Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat, falling three votes short of the 25 needed for passage. The defeat makes it unlikely the measure will resurface this year.

Even after Treat amended the bill to remove funding for homeschooled students and add a family-income cap, it still faced fierce bipartisan resistance. Many lawmakers who represent rural districts oppose the bill because there are few private school options for students there.

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt endorsed the proposal in his State of the State address to lawmakers at the start of the session.

The bill still would have faced an uphill battle in the House, where Speaker Charles McCall has said it wouldn’t receive a hearing.