I have great news to share. I am excited to announce that state leaders have agreed to a historic public education funding package.
Throughout negotiations, House Republicans pushed for a plan that worked for every student, parent, teacher, and school district in the state. The proposal does what is best for our students, supports strong parent involvement in their children’s education and ensures that our teachers have the resources needed to excel in their jobs.
Even though the House, Senate and Governor had different ideas in the beginning, everyone came together to create a proposal that ensures all of Oklahoma’s children are served at the highest level possible.
The agreement will allocate more than $625 million to public schools, adjust the state formula to support smaller schools, raise teacher salaries statewide and provide six weeks of paid maternity leave for teachers. Also included is $125 million of funding in the Redbud Fund, which addresses property tax revenue disparities in districts with lower ad valorem bases and helps meet basic infrastructure and maintenance needs so schools can keep their doors open and divert funding to other areas.
In addition to the historic investments to public education, the agreement also includes funding for innovative programs to improve reading levels and ensure students, teachers and staff are safe at school.
With the implementation of this education plan, we will have poured more new money into public education in the last five years than in the prior 27 years combined. From 1992-2018, the state invested $1.37 billion into public education for an average of $50.74 million in new funding every year. From 2019 to 2024, inclusive of the budget we will sign in the next week or so, Oklahoma will have invested $1.45 billion for an average of $290 million in new funding every year.
In other news, this week the Oklahoma House of Representatives recognized May 14 through May 20, 2023, as National Police Week and May 19, 2023, as Peace Officers Memorial Day in Oklahoma.
In 1963, President Kennedy issued the first proclamation for Peace Officers Memorial Day and National Police Week to remember and honor law enforcement officers for their service and sacrifices. Peace Officers Memorial Day, which annually falls on May 15, honors law enforcement officers killed or disabled in the line of duty.
National Police Week offers honor, remembrance, and support while allowing law enforcement, survivors, and citizens to gather and pay homage to those who gave their lives serving our state and nation.
This week, we honor the fallen law enforcement officers who have given up their lives in the name of our safety and protection, and we stand in full support of the brave men and women in blue who continue to make sacrifices for us every single day. I want to thank law enforcement officers in House District 31 for your dedication and service to keeping our community safe.
I am thankful and honored that the constituents of House District 31 have entrusted me with the responsibility of serving in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any concerns at 405-557-7350 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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