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January 31, 2014

Okla. education boss requests funding increase

OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi is outlining the agency’s request for nearly $175 million in new funding for public schools in next year’s budget.

Barresi testified Thursday before a House budget subcommittee responsible for overseeing funding for K-12 schools in Oklahoma.

The Department of Education received about $2.4 billion appropriation for the current fiscal year. The agency is requesting $2.57 billion for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Documents from Barresi’s office show a steady decline in per-pupil funding for schools from about $3,275 per student in fiscal year 2009 to about $3,032 per student in the current fiscal year. Oklahoma has added about 27,000 students during that time.

The Legislature is projected to have about $170 million less to spend on next year’s budget.

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