Oklahoma Educators Say Proposed State Budget Essentially Flat - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Oklahoma Educators Say Proposed State Budget Essentially Flat

Posted: Updated:
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Keith Ballard says he's optimistic lawmakers might be listening. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Keith Ballard says he's optimistic lawmakers might be listening.
The increase at TPS amounts to about $30 per student. The increase at TPS amounts to about $30 per student.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

The give and take of the state budget process continues for Oklahoma public education. Governor Mary Fallin says lawmakers are giving schools $80 million in new money - but school districts says the increase is really half that.

While the budget hasn't passed, those are the numbers the governor and top leaders say to expect.

The people who spend that money say the increase isn't as much as it seems.

The state budget deal will mean more money for education than last year, but it's not nearly as much as just a few years ago. The first analysis of next year's education funding will go up by about $30 dollars per student.

"To put that into perspective, to get back to where schools were in 2008 with inflations, they would really need about $700 dollars more, so it's really just beginning to restore what's been cut in the past," said Gene Perry with the Oklahoma Policy Institute.

The deal announced Friday would mean $80 million more for education than last year. The first $40 million will pay the increasing cost of health care for school employees. The remaining $40 million will be divided among the schools statewide.

For Tulsa Public Schools - the share is about $2.5 million.

5/14/2014 Related Story: Tulsa School Credits Hard Work For Perfect Test Scores

"We have a lot of shortages; we're not paying teachers what we ought to, and we'll use it to address building needs best we can," said Dr. Keith Ballard, Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent.

Tulsa's superintendent notes the district is ending the year without $500,000 for healthcare that wasn't funded last year. But he's optimistic lawmakers might be listening.

The budget deal comes after the largest education rally in 20 years at the state capitol. Everything from testing reforms, to parent control and funding were rallying points - but at the end of the session - many educators aren't sure how much of a difference they made with lawmakers.

"Soon after that rally, lawmakers voted to schedule further income tax cuts for future years so those have already been put first in line," Perry said. "When revenues go up, it's going to go to tax cuts."

The changes to the 3rd grade retention law passed - but the governor has not signed it and could veto it. And there were no changes made to the A-F grading system this year.

There's still a chance other funding could come through, but no one I talked with believes it's likely.

Special Features

Fallen Heroes

The News On 6 honors our fallen Oklahoma heroes. View our interactive timeline.

Health News

Find the latest health headlines & videos, plus get tips for healthy living.

Home & Family

Get ideas on spending more time with your family & improving your home life.


Breaking political news & the latest headlines from the state capitol & D.C.


Spend your money wisely with reviews of new tech gadgets & the latest news in technology.

Live Radar

WARN Interactive

Featured on NewsOn6.com

  • Murrah Bombing Timeline

    Learn more about the events leading up to and following the bombing.

  • 6 Investigates

    Are you aware of incidents of fraud, corruption, government waste? We investigate.

  • Storm Zone

    Watch tornadoes tear across Oklahoma and learn how to stay safe!

  • Turnpike Timelines

    View a historical road map of Oklahoma's turnpike system.

Powered by WorldNow
News On 6
303 N. Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103
Oklahoma's Own Newson6.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state including Tulsa's Own and Green Country's Own.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014, WorldNow and KOTV. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.