State Question 744 Rejected By Oklahoma Voters

Tuesday, November 2nd 2010, 4:02 pm
By: News On 6

UNDATED -- Oklahoma voters soundly rejected State Question 744 on Tuesday.

State Question 744, one of the most contested questions on this year's ballot, would have required Oklahoma to increase its spending per student to the regional average. 

10/28/2010 Related Story: How State Question 744 Could Impact Oklahoma Education

Oklahoma is 49th in the nation when it comes to student spending. State Question 744 was expected to cost nearly $2 billion over the next three years.

Opponents of 744 said the question did not specify a funding source for the dollars.

Oklahomans For Responsible Government, which came out against 744, said it was pleased with Tuesday night's outcome.

"We saw early on that 744 took control of half of the state's budget and put it in control of lawmakers in surrounding states," said Brian Downs, OFRG Executive Director. "With no way of funding it, taxpayers were giving a blank check to Common Education with no guarantees of reforms or accountability."

Opponents says State Question 744 provided no accountability of the funds.

"This defeat is a huge victory for the State of Oklahoma," said Mike Neal, president and CEO of the Tulsa Chamber. "The coalition which banded together to defeat this measure is celebrating not only saving Oklahoma's economy from havoc, but also from outside interest groups which made the fight one of the more costly I've seen."

"The Chamber and our leadership are huge supporters of more funding for education, however this is simply not the way to do it. The measure had no accountability, no guarantees of impacting the classroom, and no reforms. The voters clearly agreed," said Neal.

10/21/2010 Related Story: State Question 744 Media Blitz Claims Put To The Truth Test

Outgoing Governor Brad Henry, who opposed 744, called Tuesday's outcome "a good victory."

"The decision tonight was the right decision by the people of the state of Oklahoma," Henry said.  "It was not a decision, in my opinion, that said no to education."

Henry encouraged supporters and opponents of State Question 744 to put aside their differences and come together for a serious discussion about appropriately funding Oklahoma education.