State Budget Proposal Hurts Education

Calling the current budget proposal a “stand still” for education fails to account for millions in cuts over the last three years and a dramatic increase in student population, according to Oklahoma Education Association leaders.

The legislature’s budget plan for fiscal year 2013 creates what budget crafters are calling a “flat budget” for education.

“You aren’t holding education harmless when we’ve lost $253 million to budget cuts over the last three years while gaining 22,000 students during the same time period,” said Linda Hampton, OEA president.

Increased enrollment which will now be coupled with budget cuts will force schools to eliminate teaching positions, which in turn raise class sizes. 

“School district liabilities continue to rise, making a flat budget a budget cut. Gas prices remain high, putting an extra burden on school transportation. Factor in expenses of implementing a new teacher/leader evaluation system and preparing for the Common Core State Standards, and schools are facing tough financial decisions,” Hampton said.

An analysis by the Oklahoma Policy Institute points out how the tax plan attacks middle-income families, many of which are teachers who would feel the pinch at home as well as on the job.

"Looking at the adverse effect the budget proposal will have on education, it becomes evident that it will be more difficult to recruit and retain excellent teachers. Their spending power continues to shrink, and 47 other states are offering them higher salaries,” Hampton said.

“If we keep cutting schools, the children of tomorrow will not have the same advantages provided to today’s children. This budget puts the burden on the backs of Oklahoma’s children.”


 

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