OKLAHOMA CITY – A bill approved by the Oklahoma House of Representatives today would create a fund to provide millions of dollars in “off the top” funding for education.
HB 2642, by state Rep. Lee Denney, would create the Securing Educational Excellence Fund for the State Board of Education. The money in the fund would be used to increase the per-pupil expenditure through the state aid formula.
Contingent upon a Oklahoma Board of Equalization estimate of an increase of 1 percent in revenue to the General Revenue Fund, the Securing Educational Excellence Fund would receive $57.5 million in fiscal year 2015. The amount would increase by another $57.5 million in each subsequent fiscal year, dependent upon a 1 percent estimate increase in revenue, up to $575 million.
“The intent of this bill is to insulate schools from the uncertainty of the appropriations process and ensure they remain a top funding priority,” said Denney, R-Cushing. “There is a revenue trigger in the bill, but as long as revenues continue on their current track, schools can expect to see $57.5 million in ‘off-the-top’ funding for fiscal year 2015, and eventually as much as $575 million in ‘off-the-top funding. It’s our way of showing a commitment to education funding.”
The legislation was approved by a 94-1 vote and will now advance to the Oklahoma Senate.