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Chickasha student standing up for public education

Jayden Mills. (KOKH)

The controversial issue of school vouchers is leading to a strong debate at the State Capitol and now a metro student is getting a lot of attention for bringing the issue to light.

Jayden Mills is a busy junior at Chickasha High School but in the midst of his busy life he still finds time to write.

"I just took that passion and put it online," Mills said.

His blog, From the Desk of an Oklahoma Student, is blowing up online.

"Teachers from all over the state, parents from all over the state. It's on our school's Facebook and Twitter page," Mills said.

Thousands are reading about Jayden's experiences in the classrooms. He writes about his classes being too big, students having to take math online and teachers dipping into their own pockets for basic things.

"They spend money on their college education and then they get a job and spend money on my high school education and that's not right," Mills said.

His principal, Michelle Pontikos, couldn't agree more and they are worried about House Bill 2949 that they say would create school vouchers would divert money from public schools in need.

"I think all educators in Oklahoma feel the same way right now, so I think it's great to have a student perspective," Pontikos said.

The co-author of the bill, State Rep. Jason Nelson, says education savings accounts would actually leave more money for public schools.

"It will increase money per pupil and we need to do everything we can to do just that," Nelson said.

He argues it just gives parents an option of private schools they may not have had before.

"If you're gonna take the same dollar that was used to educate a student in a public school and let them take 60 cents on the dollar to be educated over here at their parent's discretion, you've abandoned nothing," Nelson said.

Mills says he'll keep fighting for public schools. He hopes to one day become a teacher himself.

"I'm passionate about education because of its impact on the future and I think that it opens doors for people," Mills said.

Both the House and Senate versions of the bill have to be heard by Thursday for a chance at moving forward.

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