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

For Immediate Release: March 14, 2011

Sen. Gary Stanislawski
Sen. Gary Stanislawski

Senate approves bill to encourage fiscal responsibility for school districts

In a bipartisan vote of 43-3, the Senate overwhelmingly approved legislation Monday that would allow school districts to be more fiscally responsible and save carryover funds from year to year. Sen. Gary Stanislawski said that current law punishes school districts for saving funds, but Senate Bill 80 will fix this problem.

“Currently, state aid is based on the amount of a district’s carryover funds. The less carryover funds they have, the more state aid they get. Basically, responsible schools that don’t drain their general funds are being penalized,” said Stanislawski. “This is wrong and encourages schools to spend money on things they don’t necessarily need just to avoid losing their state aid.”

Under current law, a school district’s State Aid is reduced each year by the amount of carryover funds in the district’s general fund if the district exceeds certain standards for two consecutive years. SB 80 would remove the limit on school district carryover funds.

“Instead of punishing schools for being responsible, this bill will help them save for future emergency budgetary needs without worrying about losing their state aid,” said Stanislawski. “If this law had been changed a few years ago, many schools wouldn’t be in the financial crisis they’re in today. They could have built up some emergency savings but instead they’re going to be forced to make drastic cuts to staff and educational programs among other things.”

SB 80 now goes to the House for further consideration.

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

Inon: Horizontal Blue Band

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