Former Oklahoma Educator Drafts Bill To Give Districts More Money For Textbooks

Friday, January 11th 2019, 5:54 pm
By: Caleigh Bourgeois

A new bill could give Oklahoma school districts nearly four times more money to spend on textbooks. 

Senate Bill 206 was drafted by State Senator Mary Boren, and it is set to be introduced in early February.

Boren says for many Oklahoma districts, textbooks are outdated or falling apart. 

“What you do is, you start trying to make due. And they start looking worse and worse and worse,” Boren said.

The bill Boren is proposing would give districts $200 per student to spend on textbooks, rather than the $55 currently delegated.

The bill also contains language dictating how districts decide which books to buy according to state mandate, requiring more teachers on committees within each district.

Boren says she drafted the bill with the help of several teachers. She hopes to get the funds from Capital Gains and by eliminating some state standardized tests.

“We can do things better in Oklahoma and turn around our state, and when we start to turn around our state, we need to start with the basics,” Boren said.

The Oklahoma Education Association released the following statement about this proposed legislation:

"Sen. Boren's bill acknowledges that the cost of textbooks has increased, and that many districts have had to choose between buying new books or keeping their lights on. The next step will be for the legislature to appropriate enough funding for schools to purchase the textbooks they need."

If passed, the legislation would go into effect in July.