OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Looking within each education plan, there are differences between which districts get money, how they get money, and the overall amount.
The House would give every district in the state money based on the number of students, but it would get capped at $2 million.
“I don’t know how the House’s plan could fail in the Senate,” said Speaker Charles McCall, R-Atoka.
The total spending number for all districts is $300 million.
That is part of House Bill 2775, their $500 million overall plan, which includes $150 million for teacher pay raises and $50 million for underserved school districts.
In the Senate’s new amendment, it plans for $216 million for districts through the state aid formula.
House Republicans released data that compares the two plans for each district.
Hundreds of districts would receive less overall in the Senate plan, according to the House’s math.
“All personal feelings set aside, just looking at it objectively the House’s plan is superior,” said McCall, in a press conference Tuesday.
But Senator Greg McCortney argued the Senate’s plan to use the formula is a more equitable distribution, especially when dealing with larger school districts.
Oklahoma City, Edmond, and Tulsa will earn less from the House plan because of the cap at $2 million.
“The House basically said if you’re a large school district then your students are worth less than a small school district,” said McCortney, R-Ada.
By using the funding formula, 32 districts will be left out of receiving additional money.
This is one of the key points from the House Speaker.
“In the urban sector, suburban or out in the rural parts of the state, we should be looking for policy that works everywhere,” said McCall.
McCortney said those districts left off the formula already receive more money than most districts because of their ad valorum tax bases. Meaning their per pupil spending is some of the highest in the state, without the state aid formula.
“Schools that are already funded better than most, they’ll still be better funded,” said McCortney.
The Republican from Ada also argues in favor of the formula because he said that’s the legal way to send money to schools.
“If you move outside the funding formula I think you’re going to open yourself up to all kinds of lawsuits,” said McCortney.
But McCall points out that the state’s Redbud School Grants work outside the formula.
“The reality and the truth is, we can run money to schools however we would like to,” said McCall.
The Speaker of the House gave the Senate an ultimatum a couple weeks ago, saying if changes are made to his original education plans, then the House would not hear any new education proposals from the Senate.
On Thursday, the Senate will vote for their amendments on the floor.