Pettingill Speaks Out on School Choice

Republican Senate District 45 candidate Kerry Pettingill said Friday he wants to be a vocal advocate for empowering parents with as many options as possible when it comes to educating their children.

“I trust parents know best when it comes to educating their children,” said Pettingill. “With all of the problems our public education system is facing, we as a state need to provide them with every possible option for a quality education. I think that’s an area we can improve on immediately.”

Pettingill says he has heard from many about concerns for our public education system, including a lack of funding and a need for teacher pay increases.

“There’s no doubt we need to invest in public education and provide competitive pay for our teachers,” said Pettingill. “But money alone won’t solve our education issues. We must also be prepared to demand excellence and accountability, and insist our tax dollars are being spent efficiently.”

Pettingill said there are some areas relating to school choice where Oklahoma has made progress, but more can be done.

“Oklahoma I think has been very friendly toward charter schools, which is a great opportunity for many students,” said Pettingill. “The tools and technology available from online charters in particular are a great benefit. We need to continue supporting and encouraging these schools.”

Pettingill said the divisive fight over Educational Savings Accounts needs to end.

“I don’t understand why some people have such a hatred toward ESA’s,” said Pettingill. “Empowering parents to direct their child’s education, using their own tax dollars, should not be a controversial idea. I understand there will always be debate over the details, but as a concept, we need to embrace the idea of giving parents the educational freedom that would come with an Educational Savings Account.”

Pettingill is a candidate for the Senate seat recently vacated by former Senator Kyle Loveless, which includes parts of Canadian, Oklahoma and Cleveland Counties.  Pettingill is part of a seven person field vying for the Republican nomination. The special primary election is scheduled for August 8.

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