The new proposed state budget includes a $74-million increase in funding for education in Oklahoma. After the announcement, Tulsa School Superintendent Dr. Keith Ballard released the following statement:
“First, I’d like to thank the Oklahoma legislature for increasing the budget for public education by $74 million. We appreciate the many House members, senators and especially the parents who pushed for even greater levels of support. They know how hard districts across the state have struggled to maintain service levels with pre-2008 budgets.
“While appropriations are substantially more than last year, it is important to note that our state has also added 31,000 children to its statewide enrollment. This means an increase of $74 million that will go toward the increased student load and not toward adding services or bringing down student-teacher ratios.
“We also have grave concerns about the impact of decreased tax revenues as a result of changes made to the ‘intangibles’ tax. It is rumored that these revenue losses will be significantly higher than initial estimates, which could make today’s increase a wash.
“All things considered, we are appreciative to all who worked diligently for an increase in the public education appropriation. We hope they will have even more success next year.”