OKLAHOMA CITY - According to an annual report posted yesterday on the National Center for Education Statistics' (NCES) Web site, Oklahoma ranks 49th in per pupil expenditures and 27th in preK-12th grade student membership.

According to a news release, the data reflects enrollment and school revenues and expenditures for every state and the District of Columbia as of 2008.

"Unfortunately, this new report confirms what we knew to be the case even before our state experienced an economic downturn: we rank dead last in our region in what we invest in the schooling of children and nearly dead last in the country," said State Superintendent Sandy Garrett said.

"Oklahoma ranking 27th in student enrollment also is notable, because it affirms citizens are putting their faith and trust in this state's public school system."

Garrett added that Oklahoma schools were serving 10,000 more students this year, as compared to the previous school year, and 20,000 more since 2006.

NCES operates under the U.S. Department of Education and publishes the report annually using the same collected data from each state so that direct comparisons among the states can be made.