Report: Oklahoma lagging in per-student spending

[FILE] A file photograph showing chemistry, physics and science textbooks sitting on an empty student desk inside an Atlanta, Georgia school.

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TULSA, Okla. – A recent report shows Oklahoma is trailing behind neighboring states in per-student spending, even with this year’s teacher pay raises.

The Tulsa World reports the National Center for Education Statistics report shows Oklahoma’s annual expenditures were nearly $1.3 billion below the regional average for the 2015-16 school year. The region includes Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, New Mexico, Colorado and Texas.

The region spent an average of roughly $9,900 per student, but Oklahoma lagged behind by about $1,800.

The Oklahoma State School Boards Association said adjusting the figures to include the $480 million in increased stat funding this year still puts the state behind about $1,100.

Oklahoma teachers walked off the job in April to protest a decade of budget cuts. Oklahoma lawmakers approved a tax-hike package to fund teacher pay raises.

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