Lt. Gov. Jari Askins and Attorney General Drew Edmondson, both Democrats, and Sen. Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso, said they support funding for common education but that the regional-average requirement would hurt other functions of state government.This is a huge blow to the OEA and the 'HOPE Petition' proponents, but encouraging to those who oppose the disastrous measure. SQ 744 would mandate an increase in education funding to the nebulous "regional average", which would mean about $850M more dollars than is spent today. Oklahoma's state budget is only about $7B - mandating another near-billion dollars in spending would require either tax increases, massive spending cuts in other under-funded departments (like Corrections, Transportation, etc.), or both.
The three participated in a forum sponsored Tuesday by Leadership Oklahoma and Oklahoma City Community College, where the forum was held.
U.S. Rep. Mary Fallin, R-Okla., was in Washington and did not participate.
State Question 744, backed by the Oklahoma Education Association, is expected to be among a number of state questions on the November ballot. The measure would require the Legislature to bring per-pupil spending to the regional average, at an estimated cost of $850 million.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
From the Tulsa World, via the Choice Remarks blog: