Proponents of State Question 744 like to talk about the "regional average" of education spending, and they use this map to further illustrate their point:
They talk extensively about how we need to be at the regional average. In fact, that is the crux, the essence of their entire campaign.
However, let me show you a "regional average" map that I put together this evening. This is a "regional average" of the state budgets:
As the map clearly shows, Oklahoma's budget is a whopping $19.1 billion off of the "regional average". Even without Texas' titanic budget in the mix, Oklahoma is still $7.56 billion lower - just 48.5% of the regional-minus- Texas average.
Now, I suppose I could be a few billion dollars off in my figures, but that still doesn't make that much of a difference; Oklahoma's budget is significantly smaller than almost every state around us.
What does this mean? Oklahoma simply does not have the revenue to sustain "regional average" without major revenue increases (i.e. substantial tax hikes), large cuts to every other state agency, or a combination of both.
In other words, we cannot afford for State Question 744 to pass. Vote NO on State Question 744!