Edmond School District could face a grim budgeting process

Funding cuts could force Edmond schools to consider increasing class sizes or eliminating programs in upcoming years.
BY NASREEN IQBAL niqbal@opubco.com Modified: January 21, 2013 at 7:53 pm •  Published: January 21, 2013
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State Question 766 abolished property taxes on intangible personal property statewide. State Question 758 lowered the cap of property valuation increases from 5 percent per year to 3 percent.

“We are going to lose some local funding due to property tax measures that were passed by voters,” Smith said.

School officials estimated in this year's budget summary that the passage of State Question 766 could cause an immediate loss of $50 million in tax revenue to schools, career technology centers and county government.

Voters approved the state questions out of legitimate economic concerns, State Sen. Clark Jolley said.

“The alternative was to have an incredibly large tax increase,” Jolley said.

Jolley said he thinks the district will receive additional funding but none to make up for the loss from passage of the state questions.

“The schools are asking for more than the state has,” Jolley said. “I support educational funding because I think these are legitimate concerns, but we have to face the reality that there are others that are calling for our dollars. Education is a priority but it's just not possible to give them additional funding and the money lost from the passage of the state questions.”

The district has had a reduction in federal funding.

“The federal stimulus that was given to us in 2009 ended this year,” Smith said, referring to the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act that congress and President Barack Obama issued in 2009, which included money for education.

School Board President Jamie Underwood said the consequences of not receiving additional state funding are hard to face.

“What would suffer would be the quality of education,” Underwood said. “We are very proud of the quality of education we provide here in Edmond, and we work hard with the Legislature to make sure we can continue saying that.”