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Opinion

November 13, 2012

Increase funding in 2014

NORMAN — State Superintendent Janet Barresi’s intention to seek a $234 million increase in funding for education in 2014 is welcome news.

School districts should not plan on spending that money anytime soon, however.

Barresi will ask the Oklahoma Legislature for more than $2 billion for the 2014 school year.

After years of a poor economy that caused legislators to siphon millions from state schools, the possibility of an increase should be applauded.

Any proposed increase must be approved by the Legislature.

Until the state recoups some of the revenue lost in a bad economy, legislators will continue to make tough decisions on funding for all state services and departments.

We would encourage legislators to put money back into our schools as if our futures depend on it.

A quality education is vital to the success of our youth. Money alone won’t propel our schools to success. Cutting funding certainly does not help.

Barresi promised a return on the taxpayers’ investment. Barresi also said that the state anticipates part of the proposed allocation would be used to raise local teacher salaries.

Most educators are not motivated by money. They are sincerely interested in helping students.

That’s our hope. Because additional funding in 2014 is not guaranteed.

The only guarantee our students have is that Barresi says she will ask for more money.

School staff and administrators should continue preparing for tough times while hoping for the best from Barresi and the legislature.

— Muskogee Phoenix

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