Gov. Fallin puts public school funding measure on the November ballot

OKLAHOMA CITY – A state question approved by the legislature that would allow school districts to use property tax revenue for teacher pay will be on the November ballot.

On Thursday, Gov. Fallin issued an election proclamation that places State Question 801 on the November ballot.

State Question 801 would give local school boards the flexibility and options to use existing property tax funds for use in the classroom, for things like teacher pay and textbooks, without raising taxes.

In order to pass, it requires a simple majority of voters.

Officials with the OEA are speaking out against the measure, saying it doesn’t help the lack of funding.

“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,” OEA President Alicia Priest said in a statement.

The deadline for the governor to sign election proclamation for state questions to be place on the Nov. 6 general election ballot is Aug. 27.