Saturday, February 22, 2020
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In Oklahoma, a voucher bill dies like poor Jud

“We know we belong to the land, and the land we belong to is grand! And when we say, Yeeow! Aye-yip-aye-yo-ee-ay! We’re only sayin’ you’re doin’ fine, Oklahoma! Oklahoma, O.K.”

Owasso (Okla.) HS marching band at St Patrick’s Day Parade, Dublin, Ireland, 2014 (William Murphy / Flickr CC)

The sponsor of a voucher bill in the Oklahoma state legislature has pulled the bill, worried that he didn’t have a sufficient number of votes for passage, but also, concerned that the bill would be hobbled if it squeaked through, Oklahoma Watch reports.

State Senator Rob Standridge, a Republican from Norman, pulled Senate Bill 560 from consideration on March 1, so vouchers are very unlikely to become law in Oklahoma during the current legislative year, although it would still be possible to introduce some sort of voucher program, like education savings accounts, in the budget proposals the state puts forth.

“I don’t want to pass it by a thin margin,” the site quoted him as saying to other senators in an appropriations committee meeting that morning. “I want us to feel good about this.”

Key education leaders, including Oklahoma City Public Schools Superintendent Aurora Lora, urged senators to reject the proposal because it would compound budget cuts that public schools have already endured.

“Vouchers are not the answer to improving educational outcomes for all students, especially in the current budget crisis,” she was quoted as writing.

The Oklahoma School Boards Association analyzed the bill prior to this action. Their independent analysis said the bill could divert up to $30 million in the first year and $1.6 billion over a decade away from public schools and toward private schools, most of which would be religious schools.

Musicals this spring at Oklahoma high schools

The Rodgers & Hammerstein musical Oklahoma!, from which our lead paragraph is taken, closes this evening at Owasso High School and will open at Sulphur High School on April 7. Our headline is a reference to a character in that musical.

Other Oklahoma high school musicals this spring include:

  1. The Addams Family at Sapulpa High School, March 31–April 1
  2. Big Fish at Yukon High School, through tonight
  3. Bye Bye Birdie at Carl Albert High School in Midwest City, through tonight
  4. Bye Bye Birdie at Bixby High School, March 10–11
  5. Bye Bye Birdie at Shawnee High School, April 21–23
  6. Charlie Brown at Wyandotte High School, March 24–25
  7. Cinderella at Tahlequah High School, expected, beginning of April
  8. Crazy for You at Bethany High School, April 27–28
  9. Once Upon a Mattress at Hilldale High School in Muskogee, April 27–30
  10. The Sound of Music at Moore High School, through tonight
  11. The Wizard of Oz at Jenks High School, through tomorrow
  12. The Wizard of Oz at McCloud High School, April 27–29
  13. The Will Rogers Follies at Guthrie High School, March 30–April 3

I apologize if I missed any (please write to for corrections), and I also wish to point out that public rights-management databases show no high school musicals in Oklahoma for the remainder of this school year at private high schools.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

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