The Norman Transcript

State/Region

December 19, 2013

State finance officials predict revenue decline

(Continued)

OKLAHOMA CITY —

In 2007, Doerflinger said more than 55 percent of overall revenue collections went to the general fund. This year, that figure is down to about 45 percent.

“Policymakers now control less than half the revenue collected by government because the general revenue fund is losing ground each year,” he said. “Even though most of the redirected funds are going to necessary, noble purposes, the trend should still cause pause.”

“We knew all along that even with a flat budget that we were going to have to make some tough decisions. Now, this just makes those decisions even tougher,” Rep. Tom Newell, R-Seminole, said.

Education officials, who have been pushing for more funding as a result of increased enrollment, say public school students are likely to suffer from flat or reduced budgets.

“It’s our students who will be sitting in overcrowded classrooms,” Oklahoma Education Association President Linda Hampton said. “It’s our students who will be retained in third grade this year if they cannot pass the reading test, who won’t receive the needed remediation. It’s our students who won’t have access to technology and will be forced to use outdated textbooks.”

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