House leaders vow cuts to schools won’t top 5 percent
Ponca City Now - April 1, 2016 10:36 am
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Republican House leaders are vowing to protect funding for Oklahoma’s public schools in next year’s budget, saying cuts in appropriations for education will not exceed 5 percent.
Speaker of the House Jeff Hickman said Thursday that his GOP colleagues wanted to send a message to local schools, some of which are bracing for budget cuts as deep as 15 percent or 20 percent.
The Oklahoma Legislature is grappling with a $1.3 billion hole for the budget year that begins July 1. But lawmakers also have access to various revenue sources, including more than $300 million in the state’s Rainy Day Fund.
Hickman says the Republican-controlled House will not support any budget that cuts state appropriations to K through 12 schools by more than 5 percent from last year’s adjusted spending.