School districts receive annual mid-year funding notices
CapitolBeatOK Staff Report
Editor’s note: This report is adapted from an Oklahoma state Department of Education release sent to news organizations this week.
State Superintendent Sandy Garrett announced this week that all Oklahoma school districts have received mid-term funding adjustment notices. The notices indicate total State Aid (commonly referred to as formula funding) districts will receive for the current school year based on enrollment for the current year. The notices do not include any state funding cuts beyond an annualized 5 percent cut.
Funding allocation notices are provided to school districts twice a year, in July and late December. The July notice projects what a district will receive based on data from the previous two school years. The mid-year notice ‘adjusts’ the allocation based on the district’s current-year enrollment and local financial support of schools. A spreadsheet of each Oklahoma school district’s mid-term allocation, as compared to their July 2010 initial funding allocation notice, can be found at http://www.sde.state.ok.us/Finance/StAid/pdf/CompFY10Midyear_FY10InitialAlloc.pdf.
“For the first time since the state’s 2002-2003 budget crisis, the student factors, or the average amount of money allocated for each student in the state’s weighted funding formula, has decreased,” Superintendent Garrett said. “The July funding notices included $3291.20 per student with federal stabilization stimulus dollars included; the mid-year allocations amounted to $3184 per student with the federal stabilization dollars included an a 5 percent annualized cut.”
Less funding, rising enrollment and rising enrollment among students who are given more weight in the Oklahoma school funding formula (such as low-income, bilingual and special education students) are the primary reasons for the decrease.
State Aid is distributed to schools according to state law in 11 monthly allocations. Funding is based on what the Legislature appropriates to schools in the Oklahoma school funding formula based primarily on student population. By law, funding for a district also is impacted by other factors, including local economic growth or decline and property tax settlements and disputes.