Oklahoma lawmaker files bill to allow school districts to carryover funds

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(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – An Oklahoma state senator has filed a measure that would allow local school districts to carryover unused funds year after year.

“It bothers me that our school funding formula penalizes districts for their carryover funds at the end of each fiscal year. This often forces districts to make impulse purchases, that aren’t necessarily needed, just so they don’t lose the funds. However, by allowing funds to be carried over, they could use their money more efficiently,” Sen. Jessica Garvin said. “This also would allow districts to create long-term strategic plans for improving educational outcomes, like facility upgrades, additional incentives for hiring and retaining teachers and support personnel, and investing in new technology.”

Sen. Garvin filed Senate Bill 1126, which would remove the carryover caps for school district general funds. It would also require those carryover amounts are reported to the Oklahoma State Department of Education.

The measure would also modify the School District Transparency Act by adding school district carryover funds to the financial information that is published online.

“I’m excited to have worked on this important legislation with school leadership across Senate District 43, the Senate’s education policy expert, members of the State Board of Education and Education Secretary Ryan Walters.” Garvin said. “We need to untie our schools’ hands when it comes to their carryover funds and let them make responsible, thoughtful financial decisions based on their needs, not calendar deadlines.”

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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