State: Oklahoma

Tax credits on the horizon for Oklahoma private schoolers, homeschoolers

Oklahoma families who choose private school or homeschooling now have access to new state programs to help make their school choice more affordable! Here’s what you need to know!

What is the Oklahoma Parental Choice Tax Credit Act?

The Oklahoma Parental Choice Tax Credit Act, signed into law in May 2023, provides participating families a refundable tax credit — up to $7,500 per student — for eligible learning expenses. The law aims to make sure tuition isn’t a barrier for families who believe a private school or homeschool environment best meets their child’s educational needs. As the bill reads, “Parents and legal guardians are best suited to make choices to help children in this state reach their full potential and achieve a brighter future.” 

To this end, the new law allows all students enrolling in an accredited private school or homeschool to apply for a refundable income tax credit. While open to all, the program has a tiered approach that offers the most funds to students with the greatest need. Students who choose a private school and whose household income is less than $75,000 annually are eligible for the largest tax credit amount of $7,500.

Oklahoma Parental Choice Tax Credit for private school students

Here are the tiers of support that eligible private school students can receive, based on their family’s household income: 

  • $7,500 tax credit per student in households earning under $75,000 annually
  • $7,000 tax credit per student in households earning between $75,000-$150,000 annually
  • $6,500 tax credit per student in households earning between $150,001-$225,000 annually
  • $6,000 tax credit per student in households earning between $225,001-$250,000 annually
  • $5,000 tax credit per student in households earning over $250,001 annually

Keep in mind that these are the upper limits of the tax credit program. If a student applies for the tax credit and their private school costs less than $5,000, the family will receive the amount that covers the actual tuition and fees, not more!

The tax credit amount will fully cover tuition and fees at many, though not all, of Oklahoma’s private schools. For reference, you can find a list of recent tuition numbers for more than 80 of Oklahoma’s private schools at the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs.

Oklahoma Parental Choice Tax Credit for homeschoolers

Homeschoolers are also eligible to participate in the Oklahoma Parental Choice Tax Credit Program. Families who homeschool can receive a tax credit of up to $1,000 for qualified expenses per student. Qualifying expenses for homeschoolers can include tuition and fees for private online learning courses, academic tutoring, textbooks, curriculum, and instructional material, and fees for nationally standardized tests. 

How families participate in the program

Since this program is focused on eliminating cost barriers to school choices, a family cannot claim the credit while their child is enrolled full-time in a free traditional public school, charter school, public online school, or magnet school. Here are details on how the Oklahoma Parental Choice Tax Credit Program will work, practically-speaking:

Although there are almost 200 private schools across the state of Oklahoma, not all private schools participate in the Parental Choice Tax Credit tax credit. Are there schools you’re interested in that participate in the tax credit program? To find out, check the list of participating schools at the Oklahoma Parental Tax Credit.

To apply for tax credit, families should head to Oklahoma Parental Tax Credit.

Participating families will submit an affidavit from the private school they are enrolled in or will enroll in. This should have the tuition and fees clearly listed. 

Participating families will receive their tax credit in two installments during the year. In most cases, each of these installments will be half of the expected tuition and fees at their private school. (Or, if the private school costs more than a child’s program allotment, the installment will be half of the child’s tax credit allotment.)

Participating families will keep the receipts for all qualifying expenses as proof. Each year they claim the tax credit, they should be ready to submit these receipts if requested. 

In the first year of the program, up to $150 million is available for private school families statewide to claim in credits. That number increases to $200 million in 2025, and $250 million in subsequent years. The cap for total tax credits for homeschooling expenses will be $5 million per year. 

While Oklahoma’s new program is labeled a “tax credit,” it’s worth noting that the program works differently than the tax-credit scholarships that states like Kansas and Montana have set up. In those states, private donations fund school scholarships granted by non-profit organizations.

In Oklahoma’s case, participating parents will receive a check or direct deposit from the government for the tax-credit amount. These funds are technically a refund on eligible families’ state income tax bills and will be pre-funded so families won’t have to wait until the end of a tax year to receive funds. If a family spends more on approved education expenses in a year than they owe in taxes, the family still keeps any credit that exceeds their state tax liability. 

Other school choice scholarships in Oklahoma

In addition to this new program, Oklahoma has a few other programs already in place to support private school choice. The Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program provides private school vouchers for students with an individualized education plan (IEP) or who were served by the state’s foster care program. Students who receive a Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship can apply for the Oklahoma Parental Tax Credit Program too. They can use funding from both laws at the same time! 

Oklahoma also offers a tax-credit scholarship program, the Oklahoma Equal Opportunity Education Scholarships Program, to support low and middle-income students who wish to choose private school. The average scholarship size is about $2,600. This program adds important bridge funding to further support a family’s ability to exercise educational choice. 

Learn more

In addition to the Oklahoma Parental Tax Credit Act, Oklahoma’s legislature also passed laws providing for teacher pay raises and additional funding for local districts in the state budget this year. These new programs make it clear the Oklahoma community cares deeply about education options. Oklahoma’s tax-credit program comes as part of a wave of new school choice laws across the country this year. Other states that or expanded programs in 2023 include Arkansas, Iowa, Florida, Utah, Indiana, Kansas, Nebraska, Montana, and South Carolina.

Answers to frequently asked questions are already available at the Oklahoma Tax Commission website. If you’d like to learn more, also keep an eye on the Oklahoma State Department of Education’s school choice page for updates. 

Oklahoma State Guide

Choosing a school? You’ve got options.

Choosing where your child goes to school is one of the biggest decisions you face. While it may feel intimidating to navigate your school options in Oklahoma and make a choice, you can do it! And remember, each child is unique. So, the “best” school for your neighbor’s child may be different than the “best” school for your child. 

A great starting point for choosing a school is knowing your options, and this post will break down the main learning environments in Oklahoma. In short, you can choose from traditional public schools, public charter schools, public magnet schools, private schools, online learning, homeschooling, and microschooling and mix-and-match learning.

Interested in learning more about Oklahoma’s Parental Choice Tax Credit? Check out our deep dive blog on the Oklahoma Parental Choice Tax Credit Act!

Oklahoma Traditional Public Schools

First off, most Oklahoma families (84.9% of all K-12 students) choose traditional public schools, which are operated by school districts, free to attend, open to all students, and funded by taxpayers. Did you know that Oklahoma spends $10,498 per public school student each year? You can search your school’s spending and that of nearby schools at Project Nickel.

Open enrollment refers to whether parents can send their children to any public school, regardless of where it is located. In Oklahoma, students can request a transfer to a school in any district, regardless of where they live. What’s more, public school districts cannot charge students tuition. The state does allow districts to set capacity limits for transfer students, and sometimes spots are only available in certain grades. For an example of what the open enrollment process may look like, check out Norman Public Schools’ transfer guidelines. If their transfer request is denied, parents can appeal to the local school board to review the case.

If parents request it, their children can be transported by the public school of choice from a stop within that school’s district, provided parents transport them to the district route. Alternatively, the assigned school district can create an agreement with the new school district to cooperate on transportation. For parents in Oklahoma who want to know more about open enrollment in their local district, Every Kid Counts Oklahoma offers a comprehensive list of guidelines and key information that may be helpful in your search.

Open enrollment is an important form of public school choice, widening parents’ options and ensuring that zip code isn’t the sole determiner of their education. You may want to learn more about public schools at the Oklahoma State Department of Education. You can also learn more about open enrollment at “Public Schools Without Boundaries: A 50-State Ranking.”

Oklahoma Charter Schools

Secondly, Oklahoma families can currently choose from about 60 public charter schools. Like traditional public schools, charter schools are public, free, and typically have no requirements for entry. What distinguishes charter schools is that they have extra freedom to innovate with curriculum and learning methods and are accountable to authorizing bodies for results. In Oklahoma, 6.8% of all K-12 students attend a public charter school.

In the late 1990s, Oklahoma passed a bill allowing charter schools to be authorized by school districts in Tulsa and Oklahoma counties. Today, charters can be authorized by any school district and are available in many parts of Oklahoma.

Each school has a charter which explains the school’s purpose and what specific community need it serves. For example, that might be providing a Spanish immersion program or offering a rigorous, literacy-based curriculum. One of the state’s newest charters is Tulsa Classical Academy, which offers an American classical education and character formation for Tulsa students in grades K-8. 

If there are more families seeking admittance to a charter school than there are seats, a lottery system (like drawing random names out of a hat!) is usually used to determine admittance. 

Free transportation is available to most Oklahoma charter school students residing within their school district. Students living more than 1.5 miles from the school are eligible. Out-of-district students may receive transportation if requested by their parents and provided by the charter school district. Students with special needs and an Individualized Education Program (IEP) are eligible for transportation assistance.

You can learn more at the Oklahoma Public Charter School Association.

Oklahoma Magnet Schools

Depending on where you live, you can also choose magnet schools. These free public schools allow kids to focus on a specific learning track, such as engineering or the arts. Magnet schools teach all subjects through the lenses of that one track. Oklahoma has several magnet schools scattered throughout the state, and these might be a good option if your child learns best by focusing on a subject they are passionate about. For example, districts with magnet schools or programs include Oklahoma City Public Schools, Muskogee Public Schools, Tulsa Public Schools, and more. You can contact your school district to see if there are any options near you.

Oklahoma Private Schools

Additionally, Oklahoma’s private schools offer unique learning environments that may include smaller class sizes, a specific religious tradition, or a different curriculum than is available in your district school. There are more than 200 private schools across the state of Oklahoma.

Private schools do charge tuition. The average tuition for private schools in the state is $6,766 for elementary schools and $8,052 for high schools.

However, Oklahoma students in certain underperforming schools or who meet certain income guidelines (income at or less than $154,014 for a family of four in 2022-2023) can qualify for state-run scholarship programs. And, students with disabilities may be eligible for the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarship. If you think a private school may be best for your child, you can always ask if other funding is available through private sources. 

Plus, in 2023, lawmakers passed the Oklahoma Parental Tax Credit Act. Starting December 6, 2023, all students enrolling in an accredited private school can apply for a refundable income tax credit. The credit will cover $5,000-$7,500 of private school tuition costs, with families earning less than $150,000 receiving first priority. In Oklahoma, 0.4% of all K-12 students are participating in a private school choice program. You can find all the details in our full explainer

Learn more at Private School Review: Oklahoma.

Oklahoma Online Learning

Don’t overlook virtual education! It can offer a uniquely flexible learning environment that meets a variety of family needs. Maybe your child wants to accelerate learning or maybe your child needs a quieter, stress-free environment to focus in. Whatever the case, you may be interested in trying online learning.

Oklahoma currently offers seven fully online public charter schools for students: Oklahoma Virtual Charter Academy, Oklahoma Connections AcademyEpic Charter SchoolInsight School of Oklahoma (grades 6-12), E-School Virtual Charter Academy, Dove Virtual Academy (grades 6-10), and Virtual Prep Academy (grades K-8). These schools are authorized by the Statewide Virtual Charter School Board and served nearly 40,000 students in 2020-2021. Additionally, a free, Catholic online school may be opening in 2024: St. Isidore of Seville Catholic Virtual School.

Certain districts offer their own online choices for local families, such as Tulsa Virtual Academy, Oklahoma City Public Schools’ Online LearningVirtual Edmond, Broken Arrow Public Schools’ Virtual Academy, Newcastle Public Schools’ Virtual Academy, and Moore Virtual Academy. Plus, part-time supplemental online courses may be available through the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University.

Remember, virtual school is different and it can feel like “drinking from a fire hose” at first. But, for some families, it becomes the perfect fit. Learn more about all of Oklahoma’s online options at the Oklahoma Virtual Charter School Board and the Digital Learning Collaborative’s state profile.

Oklahoma Homeschooling

You can also choose homeschooling in all 50 states. Homeschooling is the process of parents educating students at home and allows for high levels of customized learning and flexibility.

In Oklahoma, 3.8% of all K-12 students are homeschooled. It is not required to send notice of your intent to homeschool to the state or your local school. However, it is recommended that you formally withdraw from your current school so your student is not marked truant. In the case that you decide to return to public school, your student may be required to complete a standardized test for placement.

The state does not define specific required subjects that homeschooling parents must teach, and does not require standardized testing for homeschoolers. In general, children who are homeschooled may face roadblocks if they want to participate in public school sports or activities in Oklahoma. But you can look for other sports leagues and co-ops near you!

Oklahoma offers limited funding assistance for homeschool families if you are enrolled via a virtual charter. Also, in 2023, lawmakers passed the Oklahoma Parental Tax Credit Act. Once this new tax credit program launches in January 2024, all homeschool students can apply for a refundable income tax credit. The credit will cover $1,000 of qualified learning expenses, including private online learning courses, academic tutoring, textbooks, curriculum, and instructional material, or fees for nationally standardized tests.

Read a great how-to about homeschooling in Oklahoma. You can also learn more at the Oklahoma State Department of Education’s homeschooling page and Homeschool Oklahoma. 

Oklahoma Microschools and Mix-and-Match Learning

K-12 education has changed a lot over the past few years! Today, many Oklahoma families are mixing and matching various school options to come up with new ways to personalize education. Microschools are one of these ways. A microschool refers to students gathering together in a small group – with adult supervision – to learn, explore, and socialize. Microschools can take a variety of shapes and legal forms, from homeschoolers coming together at an enrichment center to a private school committed to small classrooms. What microschools share in common is a commitment to small-group learning and close-knit relationships, along with an emphasis on children as individual learners. 

Here are real examples of microschools and related resources in your state:  

  • Edupreneur Academy offers a free guide for parents interested in learning pods in Oklahoma.


  • Revise Collective MicroSchool is a “modern learning studio” serving grades 6-12. The microschool also offers virtual, homeschool, tutoring and afterschool offerings. 



  • Cimarron School of Living Education in Edmund is a Charlotte Mason school combining homeschooling and private schooling. Students learn two days a week at the school and three days a week at home. 


  • Once Oklahoma’s new Parental Tax Credit Act program launches in January 2024, all private and homeschool students can apply for a refundable income tax credit. 


Remember, microschooling is more a mentality than a specific legal distinction in most cases. Often, a family participates in a microschool while legally homeschooling, or being enrolled in a private or online school.

Download the School Choice Snapshot for Oklahoma

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What is School Choice

How can it empower parents and help kids achieve their dreams?

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Choosing the Right School

Tips to help you find a school where your daughter or son will learn, succeed, and be happy.

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Search for Schools Near Me

School Type
Traditional public schools do not charge tuition. They are managed by school districts and do not require students to pass tests to enroll.
Public charter schools do not charge tuition. They are usually managed by nonprofit organizations and do not require students to pass tests to enroll.
Public magnet schools do not charge tuition. They are managed by school districts and focus on themes, such as math, science, technology, and the arts.
Private schools charge tuition, but scholarships are often available via state programs or by individual schools. Private schools are privately managed and can be faith-based or secular.
Grade Levels

Microschooling and Mix-and-Match Learning

How can it empower parents and help kids achieve their dreams?

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7 Step Guide

Tips to help you find a school where your daughter or son will learn, succeed, and be happy.

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Education Resources for
Oklahoma Parents

For additional information about school choices in Oklahoma, visit these resources:

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Landmarks Across America Shine for School Choice Week 2024!

Did you witness the magic of National School Choice Week 2024? Starting January 21st, close to three dozen landmarks and notable buildings from Alaska to New York lit up in dazzling shades of yellow and red and created a vibrant celebration of K-12 education opportunities!


JL Tower in Anchorage, Alaska

January 21-27, 2024



Junction Bridge in Little Rock, Arkansas

January 26, 2024

Little Rock

Main Street Bridge in Little Rock, Arkansas

January 26, 2024

Little Rock

Union Plaza in Little Rock, Arkansas

January 21-27, 2024

Little Rock


“M” at Box Springs Mountain in Moreno Valley, California

January 26, 2024

Moreno Valley

Union Station in Los Angeles, California

January 21-27, 2024

Los Angeles


Las Olas Centre in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

January 21-27, 2024

Fort Lauderdale

Platt Street Bridge in Tampa, Florida

January 22, 2024


Kennedy Blvd Bridge in Tampa, Florida

January 22, 2024


Old City Hall in Tampa, Florida

January 22, 2024



One Atlantic Center in Atlanta, Georgia

January 22, 2024



Aloha Tower in Honolulu, Hawaii

January 21-27, 2024



8th and Main Tower in Boise, Idaho

January 21-27, 2024



The Wrigley Building in Chicago, Illinois

January 25, 2024


Willis Tower in Chicago, Illinois

January 21, 2024



AES Building in Indianapolis, Indiana

January 21, 2024



Old State Capitol in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

January 21-27, 2024

Baton Rouge

State Capitol in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

January 21-27, 2024

Baton Rouge

The Governors Mansion in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

January 21-27, 2024

Baton Rouge


Lowry Avenue Bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota

January 26, 2024



Waldo Water Tower in Kansas City, Missouri

January 21-27, 2024

Kansas City


Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge in Omaha, Nebraska

January 23, 2024


New York

Peace Bridge in Buffalo, New York

January 24, 2024


North Carolina

550 South Tryon Tower in Charlotte, North Carolina

January 27, 2024



Dublin Link Bridge in Dublin, Ohio

January 26, 2024


Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio

January 21-27, 2024



Choctaw Casino and Resort in Durant, Oklahoma

January 21-27, 2024


SkyDance Bridge in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

January 25, 2024

Oklahoma City


Salem Convention Center in Salem, Oregon

January 20, 2024



The Symphony House Condo in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

January 26, 2024


Koppers Building in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

January 24, 2024


Gulf Tower in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

January 24, 2024


South Carolina

Governor’s Mansion in Columbia, South Carolina

January 21-27, 2024



Columbia Town Center in Seattle, Washington

January 23, 2024



Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center in Laramie, Wyoming

January 23, 2024 


If you know of a building in your community that would light up for National School Choice Week, please reach out to our team! Send us an email.

For journalists covering the Week, more information and resources to enhance your coverage on a variety of platforms can be found on our media resources page. For families interested in discovering more about the different school choice options available in their home state please visit your state page for a detailed roadmap.

National School Choice Week (NSCW) informs, inspires, and empowers parents to discover the K-12 education options available for their children, including traditional public, charter, magnet, online, private, and homeschooling.

Every January, tens of thousands of schools, organizations, and individuals plan unique events and activities to shine a positive spotlight on effective education options in their communities.  The Week is a project of the nonpartisan, nonpolitical National School Choice Awareness Foundation.