Kevin Stitt on Education



Providing more options for students leads to better outcomes

For all those parents in Oklahoma whose child is stuck in a failing school--I am fighting for you! Oklahoma governors have been advocating for more parental choice for over 30 years.

Other states like Iowa and Virginia and Florida and New Hampshire have already figured it out. Providing more options for students leads to better outcomes. Oklahoma cannot afford to be left behind.

Source: 2023 State of the State Address to the Oklahoma legislature , Feb 6, 2023

Fewer DEI officers for schools; more career placement

Let's make sure our universities and higher education are partnering with companies to train the workforce of tomorrow. I want to challenge OU and OSU to grow and deliver a quality education to 40,000 students by 2030. Because when we send our kids to college, we expect our tuition to pay for their education, not their indoctrination! I want our universities to have less DEI officers and more career placement counselors. [Note: "DEI" is "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion"]
Source: 2023 State of the State Address to the Oklahoma legislature , Feb 6, 2023

Fund students not systems, including vouchers

Educational options in rural communities are now center stage as voters prepare to choose their next governor. Stitt is campaigning on a statewide "fund-students-not-systems" platform and promises to "support any bills that would give parents and students more freedom to attend the schools that best fit their learning needs."

A voucher plan that died in the Senate earlier this year would have opened them to children in families that earn roughly three times what it takes to qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, with most awards ranging from $5,900 to about $8,100.

But Joy Hofmeister, who switched parties to challenge Stitt as a Democrat, has called the proposal a "rural schools killer" because it would pull funding from traditional districts. "I have gone to those communities that have lost their school, and then they lose their town," Hofmeister told The 74. Recent polls show Stitt's lead over Hofmeister shrinking--a reflection of the power of her message about rural schools.

Source: The74million.org on 2022 Oklahoma Gubernatorial race , Oct 14, 2022

Change school funding formula to current enrollment

One of the ways we can do this is by looking at how schools get their funding. The current formula lets schools pick their highest number of students over the last three years. There are more than 55,000 "ghost students" in our funding formula right now. That means we're allocating close to 200 million of your tax dollars to students who don't exist. This is unacceptable. It's time for schools to be funded based on how many students they have now -- not how many they had in the past.
Source: 2021 State of the State Address to the Oklahoma legislature , Feb 1, 2021

Raise donations caps for fund for public and private schools

Now is the time to raise the cap on the Oklahoma Equal Opportunity Education Scholarship to $30 million, to allow Oklahomans to be rewarded for investing their funds directly to our students and schools Increasing the tax credit cap will provide additional incentives for donors, resulting in more public-school grants and private-school scholarships.
Source: 2020 Alabama State of the State address , Feb 3, 2020

Invest in recruiting & keeping teachers

My administration is committed to public education and understands that the large majority of our students attend public schools. We are confronted with a nationwide teacher shortage. With recent revenue growth, I ask the Legislature to bring our teachers to number one in our region in pay and benefits. This amounts to a $1,200 increase per teacher. I am also calling for a bonus recruitment program, up to $5 million. We must also look at ways to better stabilize the funding of public education. The fact that Texas is preparing to pass a teacher pay increase--at a cost of $3.7 billion--compels us to review and reform our state's funding formula and to take the handcuffs off local communities wanting to compete, recruit, and retain the very best teachers. We must chart a bold course that allows for communities to do more for their students without being penalized with the loss of state support.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Oklahoma legislature , Feb 4, 2019

Prepare students for jobs with career tech

We must not forget that education should be first and foremost about our students, not about systems. I will sign into law any legislation that seeks to break down the silos between common education, career techs, and higher education so that we can better align the education experience for Oklahoma's children and prepare them for tomorrow's workforce of machinists, computer programmers, engineers, and more.
Source: 2019 State of the State address to the Oklahoma legislature , Feb 4, 2019

Schools are bloated with administration & too many districts

Stitt signed the Oklahoma Taxpayer Platform which includes a plank on "Structural Reform": We want structural reform to transform and eliminate governmental dysfunction, duplication and corruption. 500+ school districts are too many. Schools are bloated with administration. 500+ Agencies, Authorities, Boards, Trusts and Commissions are too much. Too many unelected officials are making decisions that affect taxpayers. Education and health would be better served by a dramatic downsizing of state bureaucracies, with more decisions made locally. We want fair legislative operating rules that do not abridge the right and responsibility of legislators to represent their constituents. Needed government services should be efficient and user-friendly.
Source: OKTaxpayersUnite press release: 2018 Oklahoma Governor race , Jul 4, 2018

Give priority to funding schools; pay teachers more

Oklahoma leads the nation in cuts to education funding. Our teachers are underpaid and leaving the state in droves. Too much money fails to reach the classrooms and some school districts have resorted to four-day school weeks. Our leaders are failing our students, our families, and jeopardizing our future. Enough is enough. I will prioritize students and funding for the classroom and invest in the teachers that make a difference every day. It's time to restore respect to teachers!
Source: 2018 Oklahoma Gubernatorial website StittForGovernor.com , Jul 4, 2018

Other governors on Education: Kevin Stitt on other issues:
Gubernatorial Debates 2023:
KY: Incumbent Andy Beshear(D)
vs.State A.G. Daniel Cameron(R)

vs.Ambassador Kelly Craft(R)
vs.State Auditor Mike Harmon(R)
LA: Incumbent John Bel Edwards(D,term-limited)
vs.Jeff Landry(R)
vs.Shawn Wilson(D)
vs.John Schroder(R)
vs.Sharon Hewitt(R)
MS: Incumbent Tate Reeves(R)
vs.Bill Waller(R,withdrew)
vs.Brandon Presley(D)

Gubernatorial Debates 2024:
DE: Gov. John Carney (D, term-limited);
Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long (D)
vs. Matt Meyer (D)
IN: Gov. Eric Holcomb (R, term-limited);
Sen. Mike Braun (R)
vs. Suzanne Crouch (R)
vs. Jennifer McCormick (D)
MO: Gov. Mike Parson (R, term-limited):
Jay Ashcroft (R)
vs. Bill Eigel (R)
vs. Mike Kehoe (R)
vs. Crystal Quade (D)
MT: Gov. Greg Gianforte (R)
vs. Tanner Smith (R)
vs. Ryan Busse (D)
Gubernatorial Debates 2024 (continued):
NC: Gov. Roy Cooper (D, term-limited);
Dale Folwell (R)
vs. Michael Morgan (D)
vs. Mark Robinson (R)
vs. Josh Stein (D)
vs. Andy Wells (R)
ND: Gov. Doug Burgum (R)
vs. State Rep. Rick Becker (R)
NH: Gov. Chris Sununu (R, retiring)
vs. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R)
vs. Joyce Craig (D)
vs. Chuck Morse (R)
vs. Cinde Warmington (D)
UT: Gov. Spencer Cox (R)
vs. State Rep. Phil Lyman (R)
VT: Gov. Phil Scott (R) unopposed
WA: Gov. Jay Inslee (D, retiring);
Hilary Franz (D, withdrew)
vs. State Sen. Mark Mullet (D)
vs. County Chair Semi Bird (R)
vs. WA Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D)
WV: Gov. Jim Justice (R, term-limited);
vs. WV State Auditor JB McCuskey (R, withdrew)
vs. WV Secretary of State Mac Warner (R)
vs. State Del. Moore Capito (R)
vs. WV Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R)
vs. Huntington Mayor Steve Williams (D)
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