State Superintendent visits Lawton school

Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 6:29 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - State Superintendent of Education Ryan Walters was in Lawton visiting Trinity Christian Academy Tuesday morning.

Aside from getting teacher feedback, he’s been working to pass a school choice plan which would allow a parent to use vouchers as payment at a private, charter, or even home school.

“That money should also follow them whether they go to a private Christian school or whether they home-school the child, all of this money is ultimately the taxpayers’ dollars that they are paying into the education of their children so it should follow their decision making, this is how we can get Oklahoma to be top 10 in education,” said Walters.

Walters said he got to meet several parents at Trinity Christian Academy, who told them the school changed their kids’ lives.

“Every parent deserves that opportunity for their kids, we have to pass School Choice for every parent right now, it needs to be for every parent, it needs to be universal so that every parent has an opportunity for a life-changing experience like so many of the kids are getting here,” he said.

One of those parents is Cartessa Smith, who has 3 children at the school.

Two of her kids have special needs and she said she has seen tremendous improvement since they began attending the school.

“I was really looking for a better opportunity for them to grow to prosper and I knew that the environment was going to have to be special, I knew it was going to have to be unique,” said Smith.

Smith believes everyone who wants a quality education for their child should have access to it regardless of the price.

“So people need to know exactly what they’re missing out on, exactly how much their life can improve in regards to the choices of education they can have for their children,” she said.

Those against the bill said this would divert funding away from public schools, and their students, while tax dollars go toward the private religious education of a few.

Principal Shelly McKee said regardless, teachers and parents all have a common goal.

“That’s for students to be successful and to thrive and so I believe that it’s important for us to be here as a Christian school as an option,” said McKee.

Currently, there is still ongoing discussion about the bill. The House has passed the School Choice Bill and is waiting to be passed by the Senate.