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Oklahoma City School Board discusses carry-over funds

Oklahoma City Public Schools has a healthy carry-over fund that is still tens of millions short allowable by law, Scott Randall, the district's chief financial officer, reported Monday night.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL Staff Writer Published: October 2, 2012

Oklahoma City Public Schools has a healthy carry-over fund that is still tens of millions short allowable by law, the district's chief financial officer reported Monday night.

Last year, the district carried over about $20 million, or 6 percent of the budget, Scott Randall said.

“When you look at even $20 million, that's a couple weeks in terms of what we operate on,” Randall said.

By law, districts can carry over 14 percent, Randall said. For Oklahoma City Public Schools, that's about $42 million.

“We should strive to carry over as much as possible,” District 6 Board Member Jay Means said. “We had a little bit of criticism from one of our lawmakers.”

Last month, Rep. Jason Nelson, R-Oklahoma City, addressed the state Board of Education about the issue of school district carry-over. Nelson said districts had $670 million last year. He said the reserve funds should be taken into account when lawmakers consider education funding.

“How much money is enough?” Nelson said to the state board last month. “And how much ought to go to the classroom? I've never gotten an answer.”

Means said the district has worked hard to improve its financial health, and one of signs of that progress is the carry-over funds.

“We haven't always had that,” Means said. “We might have carried over $1.98. ... I would encourage this board to take whatever slings and arrows we have to take form the Legislature and the community and carry over as much as we can. It puts us in a position where we're in better shape each year.”

At a glance

In other business ...

• The board approved an agreement with Family Development and Intervention Services to provide help for students with emotional, psychological and behavioral issues. The agency will work with students at Willow Brook Elementary.

• The board will allow Advantage Community Resources to provide counseling services for free to students at Northwest Classen High School.

• The board awarded at $21,800 contract to the University of Oklahoma K20 Center for professional development at Centennial High School. The focus will be instructional technology.

• The board approved a $210,000 contract with NCS Pearson for professional development for several district elementary schools: Bodine, Capitol Hill, Coolidge, Green Pastures, Heronville, Johnson, Kaiser, Lee, Mark Twain, Martin Luther King Jr., Monroe, Moon, Oakridge, Parks, Parmelee, Prairie Queen, Putnam Heights, Rockwood, Shidler, Southern Hills, Telstar, Van Buren, Wheeler and Willow Brook.


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