Senator Carri Hicks (D-Oklahoma City) released the following statement in response to Governor Stitt’s announcement on Friday that federal COVID-19 relief funds from the CARES Act will be directed to private schools:
“On Friday Governor Stitt announced that he is allocating $10 million in federal CARES Act funds to private school students. Like many in the education community, I am very disappointed by this decision. Now is not the time for brand new initiatives that only serve a limited number of students.
“We have over 700,000 public school students whose families are counting on their local school districts to keep them safe amidst spiking numbers of COVID cases and don’t have adequate funding for sanitation, protective equipment, and proper ventilation.
“We should prioritize funding for our public schools to prepare and implement plans that meet the return to learn guidance released by the State Department of Education. Instead, one third of the funds are being used to support less than 10% of Oklahoma families in the private school system.
“If we truly value in-school instruction and want to help our public schools safely open their doors this fall, we must provide school districts with the resources they need. I will continue to fight on their behalf to get this done.”