By Associated Press
Oklahoma City, OK – A measure to allow school districts to use state textbook allocations for instructional expenses passed the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Education Wednesday. Sen. Gary Stanislawski said Senate Bill 1784 would help school districts struggling financially due to budget cuts.
"We have schools that can't afford to pay their bills and are going to be forced to start laying teachers off. It only makes sense to allow local school boards to determine their greatest needs and decide how to best use their available funds to cover those needs," said Stanislawski, R-Tulsa. "The bottom line here is what's the point in having new books when you have no teachers to teach those subjects? In hard financial times like these, we must use our commonsense and do what we can to help our local schools."
Stanislawski was told by officials with Tulsa Public Schools that the district receives over $2 million a year in textbook allocations - an amount that could help save up to 50 teaching positions next year.
The Oklahoma City School district was allocated just over $1.85 million for textbooks in 2010, which could also save a significant number of jobs.
School districts would be authorized to expend textbook allocations only during the next fiscal year which begins on July 1, 2010.
SB 1784 must now be considered by the Senate Appropriations Committee.