The Senate Education Committee will hold an interim study on the state textbook adoption process and reforms to textbook funding on Tuesday, September 10 at 3 p.m. in room 535 of the state Capitol. The study was requested by Sen. Mary Boren, D-Norman.
Boren said the study will include presentations from experts within the publishing industry who will discuss how stabilizing the textbook funding process impacts the quality and customization of materials for Oklahoma classrooms.
“Since Oklahoma continues to put forth so much effort in customizing our curriculum for Oklahoma students, we need materials that mirror this curriculum,” Boren said. “Unless we create a well-funded market, publishers will not have an incentive to develop the materials our students must have to succeed.”
The study will also include presentations from educators who will explain how classrooms are impacted by failing to fully fund the instructional needs at a state level. The State Department of Education (SDE) has been invited to explain how the textbook adoption process works, how materials are selected to support Oklahoma’s curriculum and the need for increased funding.
Boren said SDE requested an increase from $33 million to $40 million for textbooks, but those additional funds were not included in the budget signed by Governor Stitt last May.
“The per pupil allocation for instructional materials is around $45 per student—that’s less than the $55 per student required by state law,” Boren said. “This gap has been created because the student population has continued to increase but the allocation has stayed the same for years. Hopefully, through this interim study, the SDE can explain why an increase in funding is necessary to fully equip every classroom in the state with high quality textbooks, meeting our constitutional obligation to provide every child with the materials they need to learn.”