The Norman Transcript


August 30, 2012

Carryover funds necessary for districts

NORMAN — During the most recent State Board of Education meeting, state Rep. Jason Nelson criticized schools for claiming financial hardship when they had “hefty” balances from the previous school year.

Board members appeared surprised that schools would have $670 million in carryover, according to the lawmaker, and thanked him for his research.

Nelson is likely one of many state officials who do not understand the nature and necessity of carryover funding — and especially since the 2008 recession — or why carryover is at its highest the first month of a school year.

Norman Public Schools’ carryover funds represent approximately one month of the district’s operational expenses. One month’s worth of salaries, utilities, fuel, school meal costs, etc. Statewide, it may all add up to a headline-grabbing number, but it’s still a fraction of an entire year’s budget.

Carryover is the highest at the beginning of the year, balances are limited by law, and often a large percentage of carryover is committed for expenses for which districts are expecting invoices. By the end of this school year, NPS’ carryover will be less than one month’s operational expenses because our state funding has again unexpectedly been reduced.

School districts across Oklahoma have had to employ several strategies since the state began cutting their funding. Funds have been reduced on more than one occasion at mid-year or after employee contracts were in place. As unforeseen cuts in revenue have occurred one after the other, the necessity for a reserve fund has become even more crucial to operational stability.

State funding has been cut several times since 2008. For NPS, it totals approximately $4 million. Examples of how cuts are often unexpected include: Notice three weeks before the school year began that our revenue would be $1 million less (although our enrollment increased), a new state regulation that eliminated $250,000 from our special education programs mid-year, delayed local ad valorem collections and unfunded mandates like the recently adopted teacher evaluation system that will cost NPS about three times the funds provided by the state.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Hero of Haarlem … for common good

    “Trudging stoutly along by the canal,” as the story goes, the 8-year-old son of a Dutch sluicer was returning home from delivering cakes to a blind man. Humming as he passed the dikes, he noticed that recent rains had made his father’s job ...

    April 22, 2014

  • Hate without end

    The news that a former grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan is suspected of shooting and killing three people near Jewish community centers in Kansas seems at first glance like a disparaged past flaring briefly into the present. Americans like ...

    April 21, 2014

  • Don’t let moderation confuse you

    Jeb Bush’s recent compassionate comments on immigration show how far apart he is from the far right of the Republican Party....

    April 20, 2014

  • Priest’s execution should spur action

    In the hierarchy of saints, martyrs are on the highest rung of the celestial ladder, at least for me....

    April 20, 2014

  • Settlers found opportunities in red dirt fields

    There are few constants in families where the teenagers and soon-to-be teenagers outnumber their parents. One things holds true at my home: Nobody gets out of bed in the morning before dear old Dad....

    April 20, 2014

  • NRA members need to step up

    Please, Mr. Bloomberg, leave the checkbook open, but step away from the podium. Your efforts to curb gun violence and improve safety are notable. The National Rifle Association thanks you....

    April 19, 2014

  • First, do no harm — to your bank account

    After being sued by the Wall Street Journal, the government finally released its Medicare reimbursement data last week. It included the less-than-stunning revelation that 28 of the 100 doctors who received the largest payments in 2012 were ...

    April 15, 2014

  • Reading between the lines

    Reading is such an improbable idea — a miracle, really. Yet simple squiggles on a page, arranged just so, can convey ideas that change the way we think or introduce to us characters we love for a lifetime. In celebration of reading — and ...

    April 15, 2014

  • CCFI tackling area’s child abuse problem

    Editor, The Transcript: To those of you who are reading this editorial, I assume you care or at least are entertained by the opinions of others. It is my hope and desire that when you read this editorial, you will care about the facts. ...

    April 12, 2014

  • Does Oklahoma need advice from Texas?

    Does Texas have a lock on “brilliant minds”? The names of Texans like Congressman Louie Gomert, Sen. Ted Cruz and that other guy ... I can’t think of his name ... oh yeah, Rick Perry come to mind very quickly. Add to that infamous list ...

    April 12, 2014