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State Education Board forced to revise budget

Team Radio Marketing Group - February 23, 2017 2:05 pm

Joy Hofmeister

In the wake of a General Revenue failure for the State of Oklahoma, the State Board of Education today revised the common education budget to reflect $50.2 million in cuts.

The reductions resulted from Tuesday’s State Board of Equalization meeting, which certified a 0.7 percent state General Revenue failure for the current fiscal year. The Board of Equalization also confirmed a $39.1 million shortfall to another funding source for public schools, the Education Reform Revolving Fund, better known as the 1017 fund.

In total, the adjustments represent a 2.48 percent reduction in appropriated dollars allocated to the funding formula for the current fiscal year.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister said the loss of expected state revenue to meet the already lean common education budget will have an unavoidable impact on students throughout Oklahoma.

“These budget cuts will further hobble our state’s ability to meet the needs of children and educate our students. It’s onerous news for schools as they have now absorbed $84.5 million in unexpected cuts to common education in the last two fiscal years despite great effort to cushion the blow for students during the recent economic downturn,” Hofmeister said. “We have very few options left. In addition, the collective impact of cuts to core services year after year affects all communities, all schools, every classroom and our most vulnerable children as services and resources dwindle. Core services have not only been cut to the bone but are now asking service providers and our schools to leach calcium from the bones. It’s unsustainable.

“That said, we are encouraged by promising indications that the energy sector may be slowly rebounding. In addition, we are thankful to be working with the Governor’s office and our colleagues in the state legislature, including a number of men and women in new leadership positions, and are hopeful we can work together to solve these funding issues in ways that positively impact the classroom. Our kids can’t wait.”

To see an adjusted Fiscal Year 2017 budget book, including a breakdown of cuts, click here .


Information provided by the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

 

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