Updated August 20, 2020
What is the Oklahoma Equal Opportunity Education Scholarship Act?
The Oklahoma Equal Opportunity Education Scholarship Act (68 Okla. Stat. §2357.206) allows individuals and businesses to receive Oklahoma state income tax credits for donating to a scholarship granting organization (SGO) recognized by the Oklahoma Tax Commission. The SGO then uses those contributions to provide scholarships for eligible students to attend an accredited private school.
What is a Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO)?
A SGO is a 501(c)(3) not-for- profit organization approved by the Office of the Secretary of State, the IRS, and the Oklahoma Tax Commission. It serves as the central administrative service for member schools while allowing significant local school control over scholarship dollars.
The SGO will insure that scholarship assistance is provided to the neediest of families; assures the integrity of the Board and staff members; keeps full and accurate records, and reports to the Governor and Legislature every four years.
What is the Opportunity Scholarship Fund?
The Opportunity Scholarship Fund (OSF) is a not-for-proft Oklahoma corporation organized as a SGO in compliance with the Oklahoma Equal Opportunity Education Scholarship Act. It is an independent, tax-exempt entity organized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The OSF awards scholarships that allow eligible students to attend a participating private school accredited by the State Department of Education (SDE), or an accrediting association approved by the SDE, in Oklahoma. The OSF Board will monitor the OSF compliance with the Law and ethical standards. The OSF staff will be available to assist all schools to optimize the opportunities created by the OSF. Send general queries to firstname.lastname@example.org
How many Oklahoma private schools are eligible to participate in the OSF?
There are 109 eligible accredited private schools in Oklahoma that serve students in PreK – 12. Of these schools, 76 are eligible to join the Opportunity Scholarship Fund. Over 60 of these accredited private schools have joined as member schools. For a listing of the active schools in the OSF – see the Schools section on this website.
Do tax-credit scholarships help the state budget?
Yes. An independent study by economists from Oklahoma City University found that tax-credit scholarships provided through programs like ours actually save the state money. Based on the state’s per-pupil spending on common education, the fiscal return to the state is $1.39 of savings for every $1 of tax credit issued. (When accounting for all funding sources (federal, state and local taxes), the fiscal return is $2.91 for every $1 of tax credit issued.) The fiscal impact to the state is determined by the trade off of tax revenue and per-pupil expenditures.