Oklahoma school choice leader takes leading role in National School Choice Week 2012

Stuart Jolly, director of American for Prosperity’s Oklahoma chapter will take a leading part during National School Choice Week observances in January 2012, CapitolBeatOK has learned. 

In an interview, Teresa Oelke of Americans for Prosperity said during the national week of advocacy for school choice, scheduled January 22 to 28 next year, town hall meetings would be held in person, via the Internet and through Skype hookups “from Los Angeles to Oklahoma City to North Carolina.”

Oelke (prounded “Okie”), based in Arkansas, said Jolly and his state AFP activists are part of “a dynamic coalition. I know they have a strong school choice advocacy group. What happened with Oklahoma is what we hope to happen in every state. There were policy think tanks, and citizen activists joined together to pass effective reforms in the state Legislature.” 

Oklahoma’s role in the most historic year ever for parental choice in education is being highlighted in national studies released in recent weeks. 

AFP helped organize 120 coalitions at the community level for National School Choice Week this year, and will do so again for the January events, Oelke said. 

The strength of the choice issue, she asserts, is that “people are just tired of waiting for education reform. That’s why you see the convergence of people who have stopped working in silence, joining together to make sure that parents are able to choose the most effective option for their children.” 

A video of CapitolBeatOK’s interview with Oelke is available here.  

In a follow-up interview, Jolly explained his role in choice week activities. He said, “It’s always a great honor to participate in the National School Choice Week with all 50 states in the nation. School choice events are more than just a time of fellowship with hundreds of like-minded individuals. They are designed to spotlight an issue that is of dire importance to a growing number of families in this state. School Choice is an absolute right.”

He said, concerning AFP’s role in one in this past two years’ rollouts for a series of education reform documentaries or other films, “The 250 in attendance in Edmond in January for the showing of ‘The Cartel’ is testament to Oklahoman’s desire for more say in their children’s education.

The “2012 School Choice Summit” hosted by AFP-OK in January is intended to allow citizens “to discuss ways to encourage this state to move to a more accessible and student-focused approach to include virtual, private, and public education. This isn’t a Republican or Democrat issue – it is an American issue that crosses many socio-economic and ideological lines and errs on the side of families.”

Jolly concluded, “Our goal is to keep pressure on decision-makers and legislators alike to ensure progress continues in the realm of education choice. After all, the future business environment and economy in Oklahoma depends on an improved climate of education.  It’s for the kids, you know.”