Rep. Kevin Calvey (R-OKC) has exposed a massive diversion of state tax dollars to foreign aid. Under the program, French, Pennsylvanian, Japanese, and other long-distance students are getting aid packages from the university, at the expense of the working people of our state.
Our constitution mandated the support of our state-owned universities, so that our own people would have the means of attaining higher education without leaving the state. That model has turned into a corrupted, bloated, and outdated mode of repression. It pillages our state to the tune of 14% of our state budget. It undermines the dozens of private universities in our state whose faculty is forced to subsidize their competition.
On Tuesday I visited with Rep. Calvey at his capitol office. He wanted to be sure that his research got published. I committed to him that I would assist in that effort. KOCO-5 did publish his research. Here's some of their reporting.
“Let’s restrict these scholarship programs to Oklahoma residents,” Calvey said. “Good god, that’s ridiculous. A poor student from Oklahoma City can’t get into OU, and yet their parents are being taxed to fund somebody else who took their place and not even from Oklahoma.”
The Oklahoma State Regents of Higher Education officials said that state law authorizes up to 25 percent of academic scholarship program funding be used for nonresident students. They also said Oklahoma State University and the University of Oklahoma give significantly more scholarships to in-state students than out-of-state students.
Oklahoma State University released the following statement:
“The program was established by the state legislature and brings high caliber students to our state that provide a significant economic boost to Oklahoma. At OSU, non-resident undergraduate students contribute more than $225 million to the university through tuition/fees, room/board and books/supplies. This revenue from outside the state helps OSU hold down costs for in-state students. OSU continues to accept every Oklahoma student that meets eligibility requirements.”
The Oklahoma State Regents of Higher Education released the following statement:
“The purpose of the Oklahoma State Regents' Academic Scholars Program is to retain top-ranked students from Oklahoma in Oklahoma colleges, enable Oklahoma institutions of higher education to compete aggressively for top Oklahoma scholars, attract high-caliber out-of-state students to Oklahoma to attend colleges and universities, and enhance the academic quality in Oklahoma colleges and universities.”
Calvey said he plans on addressing this issue in January, when bills can be introduced.
Opinion of the Editor
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David Van Risseghem is the Director of Sooner Politics.org. The resource is committed to informing & mobilizing conservative Oklahomans for civic reform. This endeavor seeks to utilize the efforts of all cooperative facets of the Conservative movement...