The state board approved Thursday the Oklahoma State Department of Education’s plan for a $16.2 million midyear budget cut.
That’s common education's share of the 0.66 percent state spending cut finalized last week. Education department Chief of Government Affairs Carolyn Thompson said while the bulk must come out of the state funding formula, almost $900,000 will come from administrative and support cuts and a from fund paying out bonuses for National Board–certified teachers.
"So, this proposal to you today is really our best effort to try to protect the little that we can from schools feeling this cut further," Thompson said.
Thompson said all the bonuses for this year have already been paid and the education department can’t cut health care costs.
The nearly $15.4 million cut from the state funding formula is a $13.80 per student reduction.
Thompson said midyear cuts are piling up.
"Total cuts to common education in midyear for the last three years are $90.6 million, so even though this cut may seem small and perhaps the smallest that we’ve had to deal with so far midyear, it’s still significant," Thompson said.