Wednesday, March 15, 2017

How much money has OK spent on common education

Norman Public Schools is a school district near the University of Oklahoma. NPS serves nearly 16 k students in pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade. It has 17 elementary schools, 4 middle schools, 2 high schools(Norman High, Norman North High), 1 alternative school and 1 online program. For example, Norman High, 4-year. 127 faculties, 1.9 k student, a ratio of 1:18.

Finacial report by Brenda Burkett on 2016.2.10

For the whole Oklahoma state, how funding is changed during the past 8 years:
2008 2016
total state aid funding, 2.05 B 1.85 B
total students 641.7 k 692.8 k
aid per student 3.2 k 2.70 k
state aid formula, per weighted student 3.29 k 3.05 k
total spending 5.96 B
spending per pupil 8.85 k
As I noted in my previous post. OK government has a total appropriation of 5.7B. It spends 3.4 B in education, among which 0.96 B is in higher education. The about 1/3 of government money is spent on k-12 education, or common education.
The school fundings have many different sources with different targeted purposes:
  • general fund. basic operational can support service, such as teacher and support salaries, health insurance, instructional supplies, textbooks, transportation.
  • building fund.
  • child nutrition fund.
  • bond fund.
  • sinking fund
  • school activity fund.
The school districts in richer cities has more percentage of money from local.

top 10 question about school funding

state aid funding formula is a metric used to allocate state money to individual district by the student number. The weight factor includes grade level, special education, economically disadvantaged, bilingual, district characteristics. It is a way to equalize revenue among districts. For example, more local revenue collection, less aid from the state.
schools are affected by the sequestration due to the Federal funding cut.
Although Oklahoma law does mandate max class size (20~25), the inadequate funding to staff leads to the fact that legislation is passed to remove the penalties for non-compliance.

Amended school budget and financing plan

total amended budget of appropriated funds is $ 112 M, which includes 110 M General fund, 4.6 M for building fund, and 4.9 M for Child Nutrition Fund. The name of the fund is pack something together as a black box. Specifically, 31.5 M is from Ad Valorem Tax, a latin name for “property tax”. 48 M is from State aid for general operations. Other sources are less than 4 M each.
As OKpolicy explains, Property tax, also known as ad valorem tax, is an annual tax paid by property owners to local government. Property tax collections in Oklahoma totaled $2.2 billion in 2011 and are the single largest source of local government revenue. The math is simple: property tax = (property valuation * assessment ratio - exemption) * millage levy. For example, a house worth 100 k will pay annual tax = (100 k * 0.12 - 1 k) * 0.11 = 1.21 k. It is interesting that mileage levy has a unit of 0.001.
According to, Oklahoma Teacher High School Salaries range from 50 k to 56 k. Note the median household income is 46 k for Oklahoma and 52 k for the US.