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Public Policy

Oklahoma Education Funding

Ian Scott on Friday, February 19, 2010 at 1:18:55 pm

School bus In November 2010, Oklahomans will vote on a controversial constitutional amendment that would peg education spending to levels in surrounding states. 

Initiated by the Oklahoma Education Association, State Question 744 would amend the state constitution to require state education expenditure to equal the average per pupil expenditure of Oklahoma's six neighboring states - Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, New Mexico and Texas.  The amendment includes no provision for how to pay additional education funding.

Check out BallotPedia to read the proposal's full language.

Many business groups in the state, including the State Chamber of Oklahoma, are concerned about the impact this unfunded mandate will have on the state budget at a time when balancing the budget is already a huge challenge.  According to the State Chamber, appropriations for common education in 2007 accounted for 41% of Oklahoma's $6.7 billion state budget.  Increased spending to reach the 6 state per pupil average would be significant.  Furthermore, the average per pupil expenditure per state doesn't factor in differences in funding models or other federal and local funds that are allocated to education.

For more information download OK State Chamber - SQ 744 White Paper.

To check out messaging from proponents of OK SQ 744 go to: www.hope4ourkids.org/

Look for updates about this issue from the ACCE Policy Clearinghouse.

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