The Oklahoma State Board of Education is asking for a funding increase for the state’s public school system in next year’s legislative session. But, the budget wishlist is on that lawmakers will find difficult to meet.
After COVID-caused budget cuts, the board will ask the legislature for a $190 million dollar funding increase, mostly to make up for cuts to K-12 school funding.
The ask, though it’s for more money, will not meet the needs of the state’s schoolchildren. Nor is it even equal to the amount education policymakers asked for this school year, Superintendent Joy Hofmeister said.
"We are requesting less than we did last year. Yet at the same time we know that the need is far greater," Hofmeister said.
The department had to be realistic, asking for increases in programs required to be funded in state law while bringing funding back to pre-pandemic levels, Hofmeister said.
State lawmakers are likely to have a challenging time meeting the budget request next year as deficits could exceed $1 billion dollars due to the pandemic’s economic fallout.
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