Budget & Tax , Higher Education

Curtis Shelton | June 13, 2024

A look at higher-education spending

Curtis Shelton

Oklahoma’s political leaders wrapped up the 2024 legislative session last month after agreeing to large increases in government spending

In our ongoing series of blog posts looking at government spending, we continue to work our way through the 10 largest state agencies in terms of state appropriations. As a reminder, they are:

  1. Department of Education
  2. Oklahoma Health Care Authority
  3. Regents for Higher Education
  4. Department of Transportation
  5. Department of Human Services
  6. Department of Corrections
  7. Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
  8. Department of Career and Technology Education
  9. Department of Public Safety
  10. Office of Management and Enterprise Services

Today we come to higher education. Over the last two decades, the Regents for Higher Education appropriation has grown by 33 percent when adjusted for inflation—from $800 million to $1.02 billion (when adjusted to current dollars). 

Sources: Oklahoma Annual Comprehensive Financial ReportsOklahoma House of Representatives Fiscal SummarySB1125 Fiscal Summary; U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, CPI Inflation Calculator

Interestingly, even as state appropriations have increased, tuition also has steadily increased. We’ll look at that in a subsequent post.

Curtis Shelton Policy Research Fellow

Curtis Shelton

Policy Research Fellow

Curtis Shelton currently serves as a policy research fellow for OCPA with a focus on fiscal policy. Curtis graduated Oklahoma State University in 2016 with a Bachelors of Arts in Finance. Previously, he served as a summer intern at OCPA and spent time as a staff accountant for Sutherland Global Services.

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