The Duncan Banner

May 9, 2013

Calhoun reacts to increase in state funding

Derrick Miller
The Duncan Banner

DUNCAN — With the Oklahoma State Department of Education looking at an increase in funding for the 2013-14 school year, area schools will receive some of the benefit of the $74 million that the state is receiving. Additionally, Oklahoma public schools are expected to receive an estimated $17 million to supplement their current fiscal year, noted in a release from Oklahoma State  School Boards Association.

This fiscal year, school districts across Oklahoma have seen a decline in funding and additions of unfunded mandates. Duncan Public Schools have been facing a shortfall in gross production, which has added to the financial burden this year.

The state’s increase in funding will result in an increase in funding for the local school districts. DPS Assistant Superintendent Rodney Calhoun said the additional funding will help offset the loss of other funding.

“It will help,” Calhoun said. “Every little bit helps.”

Calhoun said the Duncan School District has made it a point to cut back on expenditures and to prepare for the worst. He said the increase in funds won’t mean the school will be changing this anytime soon.

As far as expenditures go, he said the district has been spending money wisely and in ways that will help move Duncan Public Schools forward.

“We haven’t been saying ‘no’ to things that make a difference,” Calhoun said. “We are watching it closely.”

The school district will get it proposed budget for next year following a meeting in June or July. For this year’s budget, the school district received a proposed budget in July. Until the money is allocated to each school district, Calhoun is unsure how this will impact Duncan Schools.

Calhoun said there have been some monetary concerns for the school district, and he’s glad to see the Oklahoma State Department of Education is receiving money that will trickle down to the school districts across the state.

One of the bigger concerns of various school districts has been unfunded mandates passed down from the state. Among those received by Duncan Public Schools was the new teacher evaluation program, Teacher Leader Effectiveness (TLE).

“We didn’t receive funding for the TLEs, which cost us quite a bit. We had a shortfall in gross production.

“Sequestration is going to hit us.”