OKC Public School Leaders Ask Lawmakers For More Money

Monday, April 10th 2017, 5:45 pm
By: Aaron Brilbeck

Oklahoma City teachers, staff and parents met at the Capitol on Monday to lobby state lawmakers for more money.

You can add teachers and parents to the long list of groups that have visited lawmakers this session demanding money.

But with a $900-million budget deficit, a lot of those demands will go unanswered. On Monday, the group went door-to-door meeting with legislators asking them to raise taxes and end some tax breaks.

"The reality is we've got to let them know that we are interested in supporting those options because we don't have any other choice at this point.  We've got to find other revenue to support our schools," said OKCPS Superintendent Aurora Lora.

The district is suggesting a long list of revenue generating measures, everything from increasing the cigarette tax to raise roughly $260-million, to increasing the fuel tax and expanding the sales tax base, raising more than a billion dollars.

Lora says the district can't weather any more cuts.

"We're losing teachers once again, making cuts to a lot of different things, cutting contracts, making raising class sizes, cuts to central office. It's going to be another tough year," said Lora.

Also on Monday, the Senate voted to curb subsidies for wind energy producers, saving the state up to $80-million per year, but the vote will not have an impact on this year’s budget.

The following is the OKCPS Board of Education's resolution asking the state legislature to increase education funding: