OKLAHOMA CITY - After months of hard work and sometimes contentious debate, a permanent solution for the annual midterm funding problems has been enacted into law. Governor Keating officially signed HB 2055 today.
"Basically, we've done away with an annual headache that's plagued both our growing schools and state lawmakers," said Senator Don Williams, one of the chief architects of HB 2055. "We've created a system that will get our schools the money when they need it, making it easier for them to budget and meet the needs of their students."
"I think it's especially significant that this Legislature was able to solve a school funding problem that has haunted Oklahoma for years," noted Representative Jack Begley, House author of the legislation. "We were able to bring all the competing parties to the table and hammer out a compromise. It wasn't easy, but judging from the final product, it certainly was worth the effort."
In addition to enacting a permanent solution to the midterm problem, Senator Williams and Representative Begley were also instrumental in forging a budget agreement that delivered three years worth of midterm funding --a total of $42 million-- to growing districts.
"Growing schools are going to be fairly compensated for their new students and the additional expenses they entail," said Representative Begley.
"Everyone is paid up in full. Every district has gotten every penny it deserves," said Senator Williams.
To cover a portion of the midterm costs for the two previous school years, the constitutional reserve fund was tapped for approximately $13 million. Under the permanent solution, all future midterm adjustments will come from the general revenue fund.