Oklahoma Legislature to Send Landmark School Choice Legislation to Gov. Kevin Stitt
Today, the Oklahoma Legislature and Governor Kevin Stitt announced an agreement to send a landmark school choice bill to Gov. Stitt’s desk for his signature. House Bill 1934, which is part of a larger education funding deal Stitt and the Legislature agreed upon, makes a tax credit of at least $5,000 available for every school-aged child, with the credit eligible to help offset private school tuition. The credit for private school tuition increases to $7,500 per child in households making less than $75,000 annually. Additionally, parents of homeschool students can claim a $1,000 tax credit per child for online curricula, tutoring, instructional materials, and other qualified expenses. HB 1934 goes into effect in January 2024.
Statement from Jennifer Carter, Senior Advisor, American Federation for Children-Oklahoma:
“At the end of the day, this is all about helping more students achieve their full potential by increasing choices for parents. This development is truly transformative for Oklahoma’s education landscape. Broad-based school choice produces better academic outcomes as more children have access to the environment that best suits their unique needs, whether that’s in a public school, private school, or homeschool. Our lawmakers should be proud of what they have accomplished. The work done this session increases opportunity for many, many students and will benefit them for the rest of their lives.”
HB 1934 establishes a tiered system of tax credits for parents or guardians who send their children to accredited private schools based on a household’s total adjusted gross income. The credits are available on a per–student, per-year basis. If the tuition and fees are less than the maximum tax credit amount, the credit will be limited to the cost of tuition and fees.
The tiers for household income are as follows:
- Less than $75,000 – a parent may receive up to a $7,500 credit
- $75,000-$150,000 – a parent may receive up to a $7,000 credit
- $150,000-$225,000 – a parent may receive up to a $6,500 credit
- $225,000-$250,000 – a parent may receive up to a $6,000 credit
- $250,000 or more – a parent may receive up to a $5,000 credit.
The bill also establishes a $1,000 per student income tax credit for qualified expenses related to homeschooling. Qualified expenses include:
- Tuition and fees for nonpublic online learning programs
- Academic tutoring services
- Instructional materials
- Fees for nationally standardized assessments
The bill also caps the total amount of credits that may be claimed each year:
- Total tax credits for homeschooling expenses are capped at $5 million per year.
- For tax year 2024, credits for private school expenses are capped at $150 million.
- For tax year 2025, credits for private school expenses are capped at $200 million.
- For tax year 2026 and subsequent tax years, credits for private school expenses are capped at $250 million.