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January 30, 2013

State superintendent supports huge funding boost

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma’s state superintendent says public schools need nearly $40 million in new funding to finish out the current fiscal year, mostly as a result of recently enacted mandates approved by lawmakers.

Superintendent Janet Barresi outlined her request for a $37.7 million supplemental appropriation Tuesday before a joint House and Senate budget panel.

Barresi said districts need $15 million to pay for remediation to help students to pass new end-of-instruction tests that went into effect last year and an additional $6.5 million for a new requirement that students demonstrate reading proficiency before advancing to the fourth grade.

Barresi said money also is needed to pay for increased benefit costs for teachers and to cover an increase in the number of students, saying she wants a $289 million increase in next year’s budget.

Superintendent Barresi will visit Norman Public Schools from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8, for a day of meetings and an invite-only community forum in the Nancy O’Brian Performing Arts Center, 1809 Stubbeman Ave.

— AP and Transcript Staff

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