Barresi to seek $37.7 million in supplemental school funding
BY ANDREA EGER World Staff Writer
Friday, January 25, 2013
1/25/13 at 7:28 AM
State Superintendent Janet Barresi announced Thursday that she will be seeking $37.7 million in supplemental appropriations from the Legislature.
Nearly half of the funds - $15 million - would be dedicated for remedial services for high-school students who now have to pass four of seven state-mandated tests to earn a diploma.
"This request comes on behalf of school superintendents," Barresi said in a written statement. "If approved, (it) can be used by schools this year to help pay for programs that help children learn to read and be fully prepared for end-of-instruction tests."
Other funds from the supplemental request would be dedicated as follows:
The supplemental request is set for presentation to the state House and Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday.
- $8.5 million to cover the costs of state-mandated health insurance for educators.
- $6.5 million to help meet the requirements of the Reading Sufficiency Act.
- $5.9 million to be distributed through the state aid formula for public schools. This would reportedly bring per-student funding back up to the level it was at the end of 2011-12.
- $1.8 million in additional funding for the state's student longitudinal data system and other technology needs in the state Department of Education.
In December, Barresi submitted a budget request for the next fiscal year that would include an increase of $289 million.
Just six months earlier, the state Department of Education eliminated from its activities budget more than $6 million in Reading Sufficiency Act funding, which is meant to ensure children are reading at grade-level by third grade, and $1 million for Achieving Classroom Excellence student remediation.
Of Thursday's news about the supplemental request, Tulsa Superintendent Keith Ballard said, "I am pleased this request was made. It certainly reflects the desperate needs of schools and I hope the state Legislature acts on this immediately."
Sand Springs Superintendent Lloyd Snow called Barresi's supplemental request "refreshing, encouraging, and a little surprising."
"I hope the legislature will act quickly and overwhelmingly in favor of providing these funds for schools," he added.
Original Print Headline: Barresi to request added funding
Andrea Eger 918-581-8470
Janet Barresi: The money could be used "for programs that help children learn to read and be fully prepared for end-of-instruction tests."