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More Study Requested By Author Of School Consolidation Bill

OKLAHOMA CITY - An interim study on a school consolidation measure has been requested by the bill's author. Senator Bill Gustafson said he wants Senate Bill 751 held over until next year so the issue can receive more study.

"The issue of who's paying and who's not paying for high school funding is central to this bill," said Gustafson, R-El Reno. "I think it's worth holding it over until next year so all the facts can be heard."

SB 751 calls for the consolidation of dependent school districts with independent districts.

Most dependent districts only teach students from kindergarten through the eighth grade and Gustafson said he is concerned with correcting funding inequities that occurr when high school students transfer to independent districts.

"Millage dollars for building projects do not follow these students when they transfer. State dollars follow them but those funds cannot be used to construct or repair school buildings," he said. "Additionally, their home districts cannot be included in any bond issue that might be needed for capitol improvments.

"This amounts to education without representation or home participation."

Gustafson said the bill is not designed to close dependent school districts.

"We want to keep these schools and the community spirit they represent alive; and, to do that we must correct the inequity in funding," he said. "That's what this bill is designed to do."

Gustafson said the request for the interim study will be made through the office of the Senate President Pro Tempore.

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Timothy S. Linville, Media Specialist, (405) FEBRUARY PRESS RELEASES PRESS RELEASES