Oklahoma education plan draws fire

BY JULIE BISBEE Published: March 30, 2010
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A proposed amendment to the state constitution would put critical funding for Oklahoma roads at risk if it were to pass, transportation advocates said Monday.

Members of the Transportation Revenues Used Strictly for Transportation road funding coalition voiced their opposition to State Question 744, which would require public education to be funded on par with the regional average. The question would take up to $850 million from other agencies to fund public education.

Neal McCaleb, president of the coalition, called the state question a threat to the state’s transportation system that has gone "chronically under-funded” until the past few years.

"All of us are interested in education,” McCaleb said. "But State Question 744 is the wrong thing at the wrong time when the Legislature is so strapped.”

The coalition said it would work against the education ballot measure. Legislative leaders said funding transportation and education should not be competing priorities.

"It’s sad that they view this as a threat to what they’re trying to do. This is a core function of government. What does that say about their priorities?” Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn Coffee, R-Oklahoma City, said of the proponents of SQ 744.


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