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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105

For Immediate Release: March 2, 2010

Sen. Gary Stanislawski
Sen. Gary Stanislawski

Bill to Provide Schools with Spending Flexibility Heads to House

The Senate approved a bill Tuesday which would help give local school districts more flexibility in their spending. Senate Bill 1784, by Sen. Gary Stanislawski, would allow them to use state textbook allocations for instructional expenses in years of revenue decline.

“My bill would allow local school boards to decide how best to spend these funds during tight budget years like the current fiscal year. They shouldn’t be forced to buy books when they can’t afford to pay their teachers or pay for other pressing needs like utility bills,” said Stanislawski, R-Tulsa. “This is a commonsense bill that will untie the hands of our local school districts during difficult financial times. In times like these, we must do all we can to help our local schools, not make things harder for them.”

Textbook allocations are determined by a formula based on the daily average attendance of schools multiplied by $55. An initial allocation is calculated in July and then adjusted in December. School districts must receive their allocation no later than January 15.

Officials with Tulsa Public Schools told Stanislawski that the district receives over $2 million a year in textbook allocations - an amount equal to around 50 teaching positions in that district. The Oklahoma City School district is allocated just over $1.85 million for textbooks, which also amounts to a significant number of teaching positions.

Under SB 1784, school districts would be authorized to expend textbook allocations for other expenses during the upcoming fiscal year which begins on July 1, 2010 or during any fiscal year thereafter when actual state revenues are at least five percent less than the total appropriated amount for the same fiscal year.

SB 1784 now goes to the House for consideration in committee.

For more information contact:
Sen. Stanislawski: 405-521-5624

 

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