School Funding State Question To Go Before Voters In November

Thursday, August 2nd 2018, 3:03 pm
By: News On 6

Governor Mary Fallin said a state question that would allow school districts to use property tax funds for operational costs like teacher pay will be on the ballot in November. 

Oklahoma law currently places restrictions on the uses for property tax revenue. It can be used for building and other capital purchases but not ongoing costs.

State Question 801 would give school districts other options to use the revenue. Lawmakers approved a Senate resolution to amend the state Constitution allowing districts to use ad valorem taxes on general operations.

To pass, it will need a simple majority.

Deadline for the governor to sign election proclamations or state questions to be place on the November 6 ballot is August 27.

Oklahoma Education Association president, Alicia Priest released a statement saying:

"Our schools don't have enough funding, and State Question 801 doesn't do anything to fix that. Schools already use the funding addressed in SQ 801 to pay for capital projects and repairs. By putting this measure on the ballot, Governor Fallin is asking schools to start choosing between paying their teachers and repairing broken buildings. While it's being pitched as a solution, in reality, SQ 801 merely shifts the burden of funding our schools from the state to our local communities. Not all communities have the same wealth, so this measure will increase the funding disparity between our richest and poorest school districts. SQ 801 does nothing to improve our public schools for Oklahoma's students."