March 5, 2022


by: admin


Tags: education, Guest, Opinion, VIEWS, Voting


Categories: Special needs education

GUEST VIEWS: Voting sure on training | Opinion

It’s been a busy few weeks at the Capitol as we worked towards our first deadline of the session, which was Thursday, March 3. All measures that were filed in our chamber must have been heard by the deadline to continue through the legislative process. Of the 800 bills initially filed for consideration, we approved just under 400 of them. We’ll now move towards vetting and voting on these measures on the Senate floor.

One of the hottest topics under the rotunda of this session has been Senate Bill 1647, authored by Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat, which would fundamentally change our education system here in the state. Also known as the Oklahoma Empowerment Act, this bill would allow parents to use their child’s state education dollars to choose the schooling option that would secure the best possible education for their child. I was a “yes” vote on this measure in the Education Committee, and it also passed out of the Appropriations Committee this past week.

SB 1647 is all about choice – parents know what’s best for their kids, and they shouldn’t be trapped into a school that’s not working for them. It’s up to all of us to ensure our next generation is adequately prepared to be doctors, lawyers, scientists, or teachers, and the Pro Tem’s measure would allow parents to choose the school that will best prepare their child for the future. For most folks, that’s probably our public schools. We have a lot of great schools across the state that are doing a good job educating our students. But that’s not the case for everyone.

Parents may want educational options for a variety of reasons, including religion, the need for additional academic rigor, specific accommodations for special needs of students or even to avoid bullying. This measure would allow those stuck in an educational situation that doesn’t work for them to take the money allocated by the state for their child’s education, about $3,600, and use those dollars for private school, charter school, homeschool or other expenses that come along with educating that child.

I know there are a lot of us with very different opinions on this measure – and that’s okay. The legislative process works best when we bring all our thoughts and ideas to the table. While we may have differing opinions on how to get there, I think it’s safe to say we all want what’s best for our kids and their futures.

We’ve also approved SB 1592, which would create the Educators’ Professional Liability Insurance Program, and would provide teachers with a $1 million liability insurance policy at no cost to them. We value and respect our educators, and we want them to be protected and have peace of mind in the case of a frivolous lawsuit. Both of these measures are now available to be heard by the full Senate, and I look forward to voting in favor of them again.

Thank you for allowing me to serve as your voice at our state Capitol. If there’s something I can do to help you, please feel free to reach out to my office at 405-521-5555 or email

Marty Quinn is the District 2 Oklahoma Senator.


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