The Norman Transcript

April 2, 2014

Rally for state help

The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Oklahoma lawmakers have shown that big rallies don’t always impress them. While 25,000 teachers and parents packing the Capitol to lobby for more dollars for education was impressive Monday, it doesn’t always get a legislator’s attention.

What will get their attention is if those same 25,000 people gather up their friends and family members and turn out to vote in House and Senate elections this summer. That’s what the Oklahoma Education Association and its co-sponsors are hoping for this election cycle.

The legislature is being visited by many groups seeking additional funding this budget year. Those visitors are from higher education, public safety and corrections. All want their causes heard.

Lawmakers have an out. Revenue is down about $190 million from the previous budget year. Additionally, school rankings and flat test scores have put some legislators in a less-than-generous mood.

Public schools are operating on about $200 million less this year than they were five years ago. Officials estimate there are 40,000 additional students to serve this year.

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