There appears to be some movement on the effort to raise the efficiency of Oklahoma's public school districts. This past week Speaker Charles McCall pitched an idea to Rep. Kevin Calvey. According to some sources, McCall believes that our school districts have a shameful legacy of being among the least efficient in the nation. Whereas all 50 states have an average of spending 61% of the entire school district budgets on actual classroom instruction, Oklahoma's school districts only have a 55% efficiency score. That's 10% lower than the national average, when it comes to spending money properly.
On Friday we published an indication that no bills would be considered. It appeared that the only way this necessary reform would become reality is if a citizens group advanced an initiative petition. Now it appears that a statute is written and filed in special session. An alternative solution would be to create the language in a House Joint Resolution and let the voters decide. Or the language of HB105xx can be a floor amendment to a regular session bill.
According to capitol sources,Speaker McCall believes that if Oklahoma school administrators can attain the very reasonable regional average of 65% of the school money getting to the teachers and other classroom needs, the teachers could have far more money in raises and classroom resources than the recent massive tax increases can ever get them.
McCall is signaling that he does not expect the voters to approve the big tax package and he seems to want another funding option to get the teachers taken care of. McCall may become the leader for ending our state's legacy of gross inefficiencies, bloat and in some cases - even corruption.
But to be honest, there is not yet a scheduled calendar date for HB1050xx We don't yet know why such a heroic reform bill would remain stalled, but we expect to hear news very soon.
HB1050XX language gives the public school districts a 4-year phase in schedule. Each year the efficiency must meet a target percent. Here's the section of HB1050xx which outlines the threshold efficiency requirements.
- For the 2019-2020 school year, each school district in this state shall spend at least fifty-eight percent (58%) of its operating budget on classroom expenses.
- For the 2020-2021 school year, each school district in this state shall spend at least sixty percent (60%) of its operating budget on classroom expenses.
- For the 2021-2022 school year, each school district in this state shall spend at least sixty-two percent (62%) of its operating budget on classroom expenses.
- For the 2022-2023 school year, and for each subsequent school year, each school district in this state shall spend at least sixty-five percent (65%) of its operating budget on classroom expenses.