Educational Savings Accounts needed to evolve school system

BY YOUR NAME Staff Writer email@opubco.com Published: December 7, 2013
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Regarding “A new way to look at funding education” by Lindsey M. Burke and Brittany Corona (Point of View, Nov. 29): Public education in Oklahoma and the United States is becoming ineffective. I agree that other avenues allowing educational choices need to be implemented such as Arizona's educational reforms that incorporate educational savings accounts (ESA). Parents must be able to take the funding allocated for their children and decide the best learning environment, which can include public education and/or tailor-made learning opportunities based on curriculum of need or interest. At the same time, this will drive the public school “monopoly” to become more competitive. Some fear this would destroy public education, but it's what we need to evolve our school systems to better meet the needs of all students in preparing them for the workforce.

The state Department of Education could view this as an opportunity to work with our leading companies to create curriculum that's relevant to Oklahoma's future economies. For example, many high school students are allowed to attend vo-tech part-time their junior and senior years. These programs have proven to be successful in providing productive workers who stay in the state. We can leverage this success by allowing the state's top businesses to provide similar learning opportunities for additional students with a more comprehensive curriculum. Who better to provide this curriculum than Oklahoma's experts in the fields of energy, agriculture, technology and medicine?

Darcy Dean, Mustang