| April 6, 2012

State could save millions at OSSM

Following is an excerpt from OCPA’s Proposed State Budget for the Fiscal Year ending June 30, 2013.

With Oklahoma government spending at an all-time high (see chart), the time has come to set priorities and to exercise spending discipline.

It is time for the Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics (OSSM) to promote individual responsibility by requiring students to help defray some of the costs of their education. Through local property taxes, state sales taxes, state income taxes, motor vehicle taxes, and other taxes and fees, Oklahoma taxpayers heavily subsidize common education by way of the 1017 fund, the general revenue fund, and more than $2 billion annually in appropriations to the state Board of Education. OSSM is a predominantly taxpayer-subsidized advanced college-preparatory school, with a restricted number of students. This budget recommends that OSSM institute a tuition-sharing program for each student of $250 a month, for nine months. Even with this arrangement, students will only pay approximately 20 percent of the cost of their attendance at OSSM.

The potential savings from implementing such reforms could be more than $1 million annually.

Submitted each year by the Oklahoma Council of Public Affairs, Inc. to the taxpayers of the State of Oklahoma and their elected Officials, the OCPA “Budget Book” is carefully crafted by Fiscal Policy Director Jonathan Small to help lawmakers set priorities and exercise spending discipline while creating a state budget that respects your family budget. Offering unmatched fiscal policy analysis and recommendations, Small draws on his experiences as a former budget analyst for the Oklahoma Office of State Finance, former fiscal policy analyst and research analyst for the Oklahoma House of Representatives, and former director of government affairs for the Oklahoma Insurance Department to provide perspective on the state budget that you cannot find anywhere else.

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