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January 28, 2014

Oklahoma aid drops almost $7 per NPS student

NORMAN — State aid for Norman Public Schools has decreased $6.60 per weighted average daily membership since initial state aid allocation in July, CFO Brenda Burkett said Monday.

Updates on state aid for 2013-2014 and the Feb. 11 bond issue election were presented at a regular Norman Public School’s Board of Education meeting.

State aid for the 2013-2014 was partially allocated in July, Burkett said, but after the first nine weeks of school, the state reassesses funding based on new student growth, or the weighted average daily membership, and assessed property value in the district.

Since 2008, state aid funding has been reduced and Norman Public Schools have seen about $6 million less in funding, Burkett said.

Due to decreased state funding, the general fund balance from June 2013 is expected to drop from 9.53 percent to 6.73 percent by this June (or from $8,849,709 to $6,306,889). Burkett said that is because NPS projected expenditures ($96,305,838) surpass the projected revenues ($93,763,018).

NPS Superintendent Joe Siano said the decrease in state funding is one reason the 2014 bond issue is so important to the school district.

“If it wasn’t for local support, we wouldn’t be able to operate because state funding hasn’t been a force for education,” Siano said.

Additionally, the board went into executive session to discuss the evaluation of Siano for the 2013-2014 school year and approved the extension of Siano’s employment contract to commence July 1 and go through June 30, 2017.

There was no discussion of a salary change.

Following the Board’s decision, Siano said, “I appreciate the opportunity to continue service in a community that values kids and public education.”

Lastly, the school board recognized a variety of award recipients, including athletic awards, fine arts awards, Truman Elementary School teacher Johnnie Keel for the Oklahoma Council for Indian Education’s “Educator of the Year” award and Indian Education Program tutor Silas Wolf for being inducted into the Chickasaw Nation Hall of Fame.

For more information about Norman Public Schools or the NPS Board of Education, visit norman.k12.ok.us.

Katherine Parker

366-3541

kparker@

normantranscript.com

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