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Rob Sellers | August 12, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has been changing our way of life since March. But recent weeks have seen additional chaos as public school districts attempt to plan for a fall semester. There have been delayed starts, plans to mix virtual learning with in-class time and contentious board meetings.

Employers have no idea how, or if, they can staff their businesses, teachers can’t make lesson plans and parents don’t know what arrangements to make or, more importantly, how to prepare their children.

Before any learning can occur, students and families require stability. Fortunately, private schools around Oklahoma offer exactly what families need. With smaller student bodies and less political pressure, private schools often offer what people want from education: a consistent and caring classroom experience.

But some parents who feel the private school experience is best for their children can’t afford the tuition on their own. That’s why Oklahoma created the Equal Opportunity Education Scholarship Act.

The law authorized scholarship granting organizations, like the Opportunity Scholarship Fund (OSF). Through our program, private donations fund scholarships for lower-income students to attend an accredited private school. Sixty-seven schools across Oklahoma are part of the OSF family — from Altus to Miami; Guymon to Durant; and 35 schools in the Tulsa and Oklahoma City areas.

Most OSF member schools are returning to in-person instruction this month. With smaller class sizes and more personalized attention, parents can trust their children are being challenged and taught in a safe, secure environment.

If the school district where your family resides isn’t meeting your needs as a parent, it’s not too late to research OSF member schools. When you find one that fits your needs, talk to administrators and mention you’re interested in financial assistance to attend. They will work with OSF and determine your financial need.

The public health crisis has created uncertainty, and even fear, for all segments of society. But private schools have shown they have the structure, innovations and concern for children that translate into consistency and stability. And OSF can help put a child’s education within your financial reach.

Sellers is the executive director for Opportunity Scholarship Fund. 

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The Oklahoman Point of View: Private schools provide stability for Oklahoma students, parents

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