House Passes Tulsa Reconciliation Education Scholarship Expansion
OKLAHOMA CITY — Legislation to require descendants of victims of the Tulsa Race Massacre to have priority selection for the Tulsa Reconciliation Education Scholarship passed the House on Tuesday.
House Bill 4154, authored by Rep. Regina Goodwin, D-Tulsa, and Sen. George Young, D-OKC, allows students from outside of Tulsa to qualify for the Tulsa Reconciliation Scholarship as long as they are direct descendants of a person who resided in Greenwood between April 30, 1921, and June 1, 1921. The Tulsa Reconciliation Education Scholarships are to be utilized at any Oklahoma university, community college, or vocational and technical school.
“Many survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre fled the city,” Goodwin said. “Their community was destroyed. Making this change broadens the reach of this scholarship by ensuring that all descendants, among other students, have an opportunity to apply.”
The measure also increases the income limit, from $70,000 to $120,000, a family cannot exceed in order to be eligible for a Tulsa Reconciliation Education Scholarship. Goodwin continues to advocate for an additional $1.5 million to fund the ability to provide scholarships to more descendants and other students.
“We are attempting to increase the availability of this scholarship,” Goodwin said. “Expanding access means more people are going to apply. If we are serious about more people getting this scholarship, it requires additional funds to support it.”
H.B. 4154 is now eligible to be heard in the Senate.
“We have successfully cleared three hurdles on the House side and now have to get through the senate,” Goodwin said. “We genuinely seek to enhance the twenty-year-old scholarship begun by Representative [Don] Ross, Senator [Maxine] Horner, and the Oklahoma State Legislature.”