State Superintendent Janet Barresi issued the following statement Tuesday after an announcement by legislative leaders that a supplemental appropriations agreement has been reached that includes funding for flexible benefit allowances that help with insurance expenses for teachers and school personnel across the state, as well as dollars to fund bonuses for National Board Certified teachers. Oklahoma's common education budget was cut by nearly $100 million in fiscal year 2012:
"Dealing with a $100 million cut to education last year forced some hard choices. As the state's revenue picture has improved, I have continued to advocate for funding for National Board Certified bonuses. This is a step in the right direction to restore funding to programs that were cut as a result of last year's budget crunch. I am particularly pleased that the state is making good on its promises made to National Board Certified teachers. While our state continues to face fiscal challenges, the agreement announced today represents a prudent and responsible approach to difficult funding issues. I appreciate the work of House Speaker Kris Steele, Senate President Pro Tempore Brian Bingman, Senator Clark Jolley, Rep. Earl Sears and other legislative leaders in crafting this important supplemental agreement today."