State Superintendent To Ask For Extra $37.7 Million To Finish School Year

Friday, January 25th 2013, 11:15 pm
By: News On 6

Oklahoma's State Superintendent said, Friday, she'll ask the legislature for an extra $37.7 million to finish out the current fiscal year, which ends in June.

State Superintendent Janet Barresi said she'll ask for an additional $300 million for the next fiscal year.

"We need money to carry on the important work of preparing students for their future. As our student population grows and the materials they use to learn become more sophisticated, i.e. more expensive, it only makes sense that we would need more money each year," wrote Barresi in her newspaper column. "We also have a robust reform agenda that requires funding to be able to fully implement. Still, we have to be able to justify every penny we spend of taxpayer dollars."

6/5/2012 Related Story: Tulsa Public Schools Superintendent Worried About Budget 'Ripple Effect'

Barresi said the largest portion of that is needed for the Achieving Classroom Excellence (ACE) remediation. A state mandate requires schools provide remediation when students fall short on those end-of-instruction tests. Barresi said, last year, they were appropriated only about a third of what they needed for remediation.

The Superintendent said her supplemental funding request would also include:

• $8.5 million to fully fund the flexible health benefits allowance for state educators for the remainder of this fiscal year;

• $5.9 million for school formula funding to bring the student funding factor up to the level it was at the end of last school year to account for student growth, and

• $1.8 million additional funding for the state's Student Longitudinal Data System and technology needs in the State Department of Education to help in fully implementing reforms.