This week, the State Department of Education released to school districts initial state aid allocations for the FY14 school year. Districts will see an increase in per-pupil funding of $8.60 per student. The initial allocation for FY14 is $3,038.60 per student as opposed to the $3,030.00 received for FY13.
Contributing most to the increase in FY14 state aid allocations is the State Department of Education’s receipt of an additional $21.5 million in funding for state aid to schools during this past legislative session.
“Our state is growing in population and that is a very good thing, but with more children comes increased financial needs for our school districts across the state. Overall, education received 43 percent of the new revenue in the state’s budget. That increase in funding shows us the commitment to education by the Governor and Legislature,” said State Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi.
Oklahoma has seen an increase of 7,358 students across the state since the end of the 2011-2012 school year; that translates into a weighted student population of 15,969. Designated values are added to children for characteristics such as those with special needs, children from poverty, etc. because they often need additional educational support. The appropriations just disbursed are the initial allocations for the 2013-2014 school year. There will be a mid-year allocation to adjust for any changes in student population during the first half of the school year.
When calculating the initial allocations for FY14, per state law, 1.5 percent of the funding was held back for mid-year adjustments. “We held back the bare minimum for mid-year allocations because it was my desire to help the districts with as much of an increase in per-pupil funding as possible at the beginning of the school year. Schools are always in need of additional resources to educate our children. I pushed hard this year for increased funding and I am committed to the same in the future,” said Superintendent Barresi.
At the same time, the superintendent also cautioned districts to be conservative in administering their budgets because of the impact student growth could have on mid-year adjustments.