Barresi Again Seeks $6.5 Million Supplemental Appropriation

Superintendent’s Office

Superintendent of Public Instruction Janet Barresi is urging state lawmakers to approve a $6.5 million supplemental budget appropriation to the Oklahoma State Department of Education (OSDE) to fund its Flexible Benefits Allowance (FBA) this fiscal year.

OSDE first asked for the request in February. The additional funding is necessary because of a sharp increase in the number of full-time school employees added to school district health care plans. School districts are required to offer health insurance for employees who work on average at least 30 hours per week.

The FBA provides funding to districts to cover the cost of insuring eligible certified and support personnel. Based on data certified Jan. 1, districts have added more than 1,300 employees eligible for state-funded insurance since January 2013.

“The state is obligated to fund the FBA, ” Barresi said. “For every month that the Legislature does not fund this obligation, Oklahoma school districts are forced to shift critically needed dollars from classrooms and other essential services.”

In October of last year, the State Board of Education approved a request of $426.9 million for the FBA in FY2015, a $59 million increase over the original FY2014 amount.

OSDE currently projects an FBA budget request of more than $437 million for FY2015.

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  1. PreserveTheAmericanDream, 30 April, 2014

    If legislators are against Common Core, then simply say no and stop funding it. The people don’t want it, and the money being asked for is to enact even more avenues for the federal takeover of our kids data, loss of parental and local control, and the loss of children being able to pursue a career in the field of their choice, not what is chosen for them by data points. Stop it. Just Stop funding it and show parents you are serious about stopping federal encroachment. Parents don’t want it, voters don’t want it, and this is election year. Think before you spend more money on a bad investment.

  2. PreserveTheAmericanDream, 30 April, 2014

    To continue – say no to this request for funds, and force the department to fund this requirement by stopping ramming in additional expenses quickly on implementing Common Core before the legislature repeal it. Use the money that they had planned to spend on Measured Progress, online test data collection, and many more ways devised to take parental control away and stop teachers from being relevant in children’s life.

  3. ConcernedPatriot, 01 May, 2014

    PreserveTheAmericanDream, I couldn’t agree with you more. Stop the funding stops the insane common core robber barons.


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