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School funding ballot measure to appear on Oklahoma ballot

Posted: 2:24 PM, Aug 02, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-03 08:13:18Z
School funding ballot measure to appear on Oklahoma ballot

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Gov. Mary Fallin says a measure designed to give Oklahoma school districts the flexibility to use property tax revenue for classroom needs will appear on the general election ballot this fall.

Fallin issued a proclamation Thursday that places the measure, State Question 801 , on the Nov. 6 general election ballot. The measure was approved by the Legislature earlier this year.

If approved, the measure would amend the state constitution to give local school boards the option to use existing property tax funds for classroom purposes like teacher salaries and textbooks without raising taxes. Property tax revenue is now used primarily for building funds.

Fallin says that the deadline for issuing election proclamations to have state questions be placed on the 2018 general election ballot is Aug. 27.

In response to SQ 801, OEA President Alicia Priest released the following statement:

"Our schools don’t have enough funding, and State Question 801 doesn’t do anything to fix that. Schools already use the funding addressed in SQ 801 to pay for capital projects and repairs. By putting this measure on the ballot, Governor Fallin is asking schools to start choosing between paying their teachers and repairing broken buildings. While it’s being pitched as a solution, in reality, SQ 801 merely shifts the burden of funding our schools from the state to our local communities. Not all communities have the same wealth, so this measure will increase the funding disparity between our richest and poorest school districts. SQ 801 does nothing to improve our public schools for Oklahoma’s students.”

- Alicia Priest
OEA President

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