Senator Mike Morgan
President Pro Tempore
Senate District 21
Lincoln, Logan & Payne Counties
For Immediate Release:
February 20, 2007
Senator Mike Morgan
Senate Committee Approves Dedicated Funding Source for Scholarship
A measure providing a permanent dedicated funding source for the
Oklahoma’s Promise scholarship program was approved by the
Senate Finance Committee Tuesday and is headed for the floor of
the Oklahoma State Senate.
“This bill will make certain that every student who qualifies
for an Oklahoma’s Promise scholarship will receive it,”
said Senate President Pro Tempore Mike
Morgan, author of the measure. The legislation is part of the
2007 legislative agendas of the Senate Democrats’ and Governor
Senate Bill 820 requires the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education
to certify the amount needed to fund the program in the coming fiscal
year each November. The funds would then be set aside when the State
Board of Equalization meets in February.
The measure is patterned after the ROADS program passed by the Legislature
in 2006 to boost highway maintenance funding. Unlike the ROADS program,
however, Oklahoma’s Promise funding is not limited to revenue
from personal income tax. Oklahoma’s Promise funding will
simply come from state general revenue, further ensuring that funds
will always be available to pay for the scholarships.
Oklahoma’s Promise, originally known as the Oklahoma Higher
Learning Access Program, provides scholarships for students who
complete a specific college-preparatory curriculum, make good grades
and stay out of trouble. Students, whose family income is $50,000
or less, can sign up for the program in the 8th, 9th or 10th grades.
The program began in the early 1990s and has been incredibly successful.
Nearly 15,000 students are currently enrolled at Oklahoma colleges
and universities on Oklahoma’s Promise scholarships. The program’s
annual cost has grown to nearly $40 million is projected to reach
nearly $60 million by Fiscal Year 2009.
“These students take personal responsibility for their future.
They make a promise to the state that they will prepare themselves
for college and the state, in turn, promises to provide them with
a college education. This legislation will ensure that the state
keeps its end of the bargain,” Morgan said.
For more information contact:
Senator Morgan's Office - (405) 521-5605