The Senate Appropriations Committees approved Senate Bill 576 Wednesday to change how school district funding is calculated. Currently, school districts can use the highest weighted average daily membership (ADM) of either of the previous two years, or the first nine weeks.
Under SB 576, beginning with the 2014-2015 school year, school districts could only use the previous year or first nine weeks’ weighted ADM for the purposes of calculating the State Aid formula.
Sen. Kyle Loveless, the Senate author of the measure, says the bill will ensure schools get the funds they actually qualify for each year, which, in most cases, will lead to additional funding per student.
“By making this change, funding for school districts will be more exact as it will be based on the number of actual students accounting for recent transfers and student moves. School district numbers can fluctuate dramatically from semester to semester so it makes no sense why school districts would use attendance numbers that are two years old when they could have lost or gained hundreds of students during that time,” said Loveless, R-Oklahoma City. “Ultimately, this change will lead to an increase in funding per student, which is great news for school districts. More districts across the state will receive more money, depending on how fast they are growing. As we are trying to be more responsive and flexible to the needs of our education system, this is a tool that will help all children across Oklahoma.”
SB 576 passed the full Appropriations Committee by a vote of 11-10 with Chairman Clark Jolley casting the tie-breaking vote. The bill will now go before the full Senate.