Jenks Superintendent Kirby Lehman, who has criticized funding virtual education in Oklahoma, recently said he was concerned about corporate sway in state education policy. But in recent months, Jenks has approved millions of dollars in contracts with private businesses, including multiple construction bids. Does this mean Lehman's support for bond issues is merely a scheme to enrich favored companies? Of course not!
Local school officials don't construct their own facilities. They don't write and print their own textbooks or grow all food for student lunches in a garden, or develop their own software for homemade computers. Private businesses supply all these goods and services. In the cited instances, market competition drives down costs, prevents price-gouging and provides greater benefit to taxpayers.
Eliminating “corporate” interests from government policy implementation might make liberals feel good, but its practical effect would be to force Oklahomans to pay higher prices for lower-quality government services.